Home Finance & Investments Acquisition of natural dog treats business creates major player in the sector

Acquisition of natural dog treats business creates major player in the sector

Kaira Clarehugh of Clarion

One of the UK’s leading suppliers of natural dog treats, Hollings Ltd, has been acquired by Assisi Pet Care Ltd as it pursues its goal of entering the pet care market in the UK and Europe.

Founded in 1980 by Jeff and Celia Hollings, the business has its head office, warehousing and distribution operations in Skipton, as well as a purpose-built manufacturing facility in Worksop that produces a wide range of bones and treats. The company has a diverse customer base, from supplying independent pet shops to leading retailers and wholesalers.

Hollings has been acquired by Assisi Pet Care, led by experienced entrepreneur Peter Mangion, along with all 50 Hollings employees including Emma Hollings who remains head of sales. Assisi is a new company which will be based at the Hollings head office in Skipton. It has been set up by Peter to create a meaningful presence in the pet care category in Europe, with the acquisition of Hollings forming the first strategic step in Assisi’s expansion. Institutional capital sponsorship to support Peter was provided by Harwood Private Equity.

Peter Mangion, CEO of Assisi Pet Care, comments: “Over the last 40 years, the Hollings family have worked hard to build the business and it is a real credit to them that they have created one of the best-known brands of natural dog treats in the UK. We welcome their 50-strong team to Assisi and look forward to working with them to take Hollings’ products to a wider audience throughout the UK and into Europe. There’s no doubt that both the strong growth in the pet care sector and the general demand from consumers for natural products in every part of their lives, opens up some exciting opportunities.

“This is the first stage of an ambitious vision for Assisi to become a leader in the European pet care sector and we will be actively seeking further acquisitions as we pursue this strategy.”

The deal, which completed on 1st October 2020, was supported by a team of advisers including Kaira Clarehugh, Jonathan Simms and Caitlin Hare of Clarion who provided legal advice to the purchaser, with corporate finance advice from Park Place. Clearwater International (led by Richard Goldsack) and Grant Thornton (Jim Whittaker and Jonny Haygarth) acted as joint financial advisers to the shareholders of Hollings; and Guy Ruddy, Paul Mann and Joshua Headley of Squire Patton Boggs provided legal advice to Hollings.

Kaira Clarehugh of Clarion added: “The combination of Peter’s extensive experience building successful businesses within the FMCG arena, together with Hollings’ market-leading brand is a great combination – we wish it every success with its continued expansion.”