Catalyst advises Rutland Partners on its investment in Armitage Pet Care

Catalyst Corporate Finance (“Catalyst”) has advised Rutland Partners on its acquisition of Armitage Pet Care (“Armitage”), the largest independent manufacturer and supplier of premium branded pet treats and accessories in the UK.

The business, which was granted the Royal Warrant in 1976, has a strong brand portfolio, including “GoodBoy”, a leading premium dog treats brand. From its manufacturing and distribution base in Colwick, near Nottingham, Armitage supplies over 2,000 products across the dog, cat, small domestic pets, bird and fish categories to a broad customer base including the major supermarkets and pet specialist retailers.  The company currently has a turnover of around £45 million.

This is the 18th transaction that Catalyst has advised on this year and is the 6th transaction it has advised in the consumer sector in the last 12 months following its involvement in Standard Brands, Thompson & Morgan, Travelopia, U.K. Heating Group and Belfield.

The overall pet market in the UK is worth £8.2 billion per annum and has shown steady growth over the last ten years of 4.4% per annum.  Within this the UK dog treat market was worth £434 million in 2016 and is expected to grow at 4-5% per annum from 2017.

Under the leadership of CEO Paul Bousfield, Armitage has outperformed a growing market in recent years through being at the forefront of positive market trends such as the “humanisation of pets” and premiumisation of pet products. The business has successfully driven innovation in the category and adopted a partnership approach with its key customers.

Rutland’s investment in Armitage represents an exciting scale opportunity to support and invest behind a successful incumbent management team and to build on current expansion plans. Further investment in infrastructure of the business, including brand support, new product development and IT, will allow the business to better serve its customer base and enable Armitage to develop substantial future opportunities.

Catalyst’s team included Simon Peacock, Alex Silk and Matthew Lee and the debt advisory team was led by Guy Taylor.

Simon Peacock, Director and Head of Food and Drink at Catalyst Corporate Finance led the deal and commented: “Armitage is a fantastic story of a UK business with a heritage spanning nearly 200 years, that has grown to become a market leader in its niche despite increased competition from overseas companies in this sector.  The pet food sector is growing at a steady rate and we are seeing much interest from private equity players as well as trade buyers, who wish to invest in this space.  Armitage has created a strong brand within the dog treats category and the company is well placed for future growth.  We are delighted to have advised Rutland on its investment.”

Ben Slatter, Partner at Rutland said “We are delighted to have completed our investment in Armitage. The business has built a strong position in a growing market and is well positioned for future growth. We are looking forward to supporting the management team and working with them to further develop the business over the coming years.”

Paul Bousfield, CEO of Armitage said “We are proud of developing Armitage into a high-quality treats and accessories business that has significantly changed the shape of the pet category.  We are delighted to be partnering with Rutland who we are confident will be able to support us in our ambitious plans for the next phase of growth.”

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Catalyst advises Rutland Partners on its investment in Armitage Pet Care

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