The deal sees Vafo taking a minority share in the company with the option to take more over time, while providing both the funding and manufacturing capabilities for the brand to grow. Pooch & Mutt's founder, Guy Blaskey, remains at the helm of the London-based business with the support of Vafo's Petr Kriz, who joins the Pooch & Mutt board.
"Our goals are perfectly aligned"
This deal comes hot on the heels of a lot of other activity in the category, such as Nestlé buying both tails.com and Lily's Kitchen, 3i's investment in MPM and L Catterton's investment in Butternut Box. Guy Blaskey is quick to point out the differences, however: "Before this deal I have never taken any outside investment and the share structure is the same as on day 1. It has taken a long time to find the right deal and the right partner. With Vafo we now have access to the best manufacturing in Europe with the widest range of products produced by any pet food manufacturer. We are now part of a network of ambitious companies who share our values and make great products. Most importantly, unlike many other investment deals, our goals are perfectly aligned, and perfectly aligned with our customers - we want to get more pets to eat great quality foods, treats and supplements to help them lead their best lives".
"We share the same values"
Pavel Bouska, CEO and owner of the Vafo Group, comments that "I like to team up with people who share the same philosophy. The quality and sustainability of our products and their impact on the health of pets are at the centre of everything we do at Vafo. As we are predominantly producers, partnering with Guy Blaskey and Pooch & Mutt, who clearly share the same values and operate in the biggest pet food market in Europe, was only a natural step. Because we are a family company, our partnerships usually last for decades and not for years, as I am sure will happen in this case."
In recent years Vafo has invested heavily in its operations, opening its eighth plant in May 2020. It has also engaged in mergers and acquisitions across Europe, investing in companies in Germany, Finland, Sweden, Poland and Estonia.
In recent years Vafo has invested heavily in its operations. The photo shows the headquarters of the Czech company.