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Great guesswork around Fressnapf

There is a lot of incomprehension in the industry about the deal between Fressnapf and Cinven.

The surprising acquisition of the approx. 120 Maxi-Zoo stores in Italy by the investor Cinven and the future minority shareholding of the Fressnapf Group in the Arcaplanet Group has caused astonishment among many suppliers of Fressnapf, but also concerns about the further strategy of the Krefeld-based group of companies. This was the result of background discussions between the pet editorial team and various industrial companies.

"Oh Mamma mia!" shout pet food and accessory manufacturers in rare unanimity. And the sales manager of one company says quite openly what some colleagues are only thinking: "I don't get it." In Italian: Non capito!
Fressnapf is rumoured to have recently been strongly interested in a complete takeover of the leading Italian specialist retail chain Arcaplanet. Why this deal did not materialise is as little known as the reasons why Europe's leading specialist retail chain has now, completely unexpectedly, given up its Maxi-Zoo stores in Italy and decided to take a minority stake in the Arcaplanet Group. In all supplier talks over the past few years, Fressnapf had emphasised that the expansion in stationary trade in Europe should continue in the future. "This is now a caesura in the Fressnapf strategy," the CEO of a leading industrial company tells PET worldwide.

The head of another renowned pet food manufacturing company urges prudence and expects Fressnapf to take over the Italian specialist retail chain Arcaplanet through the back door or gradually sooner or later, after all. A start could be that Fressnapf will no longer have its own stores in Italy, but will sell its exclusive brands directly to Arcaplanet. The Italian cooperation partner could thus become dependent on Fressnapf and would sooner or later be a takeover candidate. Maybe, maybe not!

There are even more theories circulating. One industry representative thinks that Fressnapf decided to do the deal with Cinven because it realised that it would not be able to become the number 1 in the Italian speciality trade in the medium to long term, despite the positive development. Or had research in the run-up perhaps shown that a takeover of Arcaplanet by Fressnapf would probably be rejected by the cartel office? This is the view of another industry insider.

Torsten Toeller is clever and knows all the tricks in business. He would probably not have entered into the deal with Cinven if he had not recognised advantages for himself and his company. It will be interesting to see what these advantages are. "Quo vadis, Fressnapf?", a Latin speaker would ask. Perhaps Fressnapf will soon do its own bit to reveal the secrets by communicating its strategy. This would quickly stem the wave of speculation that has been unleashed and confirm Fressnapf's reputation as a reliable and predictable business partner.

| 8 July 2021 | 08:15


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