Welsh pet food company has been snapped up in a multi-million pound deal

A Welsh pet food business has been snapped up in a multi-million pound deal. Kidwelly-based Burns Pet Nutrition, founded 30 years ago by veterinarian turned pet food entrepreneur John Burns, has been acquired by Assisi Pet Care.

The exact value of the eight-figure deal, in which Mr Burns is retiring, has not been disclosed. Assisi itself was recently acquired by US private equity firm Wind Point Partners with investment to support an acquisition strategy.

In the last financial year to the end of July 2023, Burns Pet Nutrition, which employs just under 100 people, posted revenues of £23.6m and pre-tax losses of £556,698. In addition to producing wet food and dog food products, Burns recently introduced a line of cat products. Burns’ management team remains with the business following the deal as it focuses on further expansion.

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Melton Mowbray-based Assisi Pet Care founder and managing director Peter Mangion said: “We are delighted to add the highly recognized Burns brand to the Assisi brand portfolio, but we are equally delighted to welcome fantastic Burns Pet Nutrition team in our own organization. The Burns brand is a perfect fit for Assisi, as animal health and welfare are central to the brand proposition.

“Through this acquisition we will be adding some great people in product development, marketing, sales, finance and operations, based at Kidwelly. We look forward to working with our new colleagues as we integrate the Burns brand into the Assisi portfolio and strengthen our offering to our customers across Europe The acquisition of Burns Pet Nutrition is the first transaction following the recent investment in Assisi by Wind Point Partners and signals our commitment to implement our growth strategy in the European pet care market ».

Scotsman Mr Burns, who will continue to run his charity, said: “After 30 years of owning and growing Burns Pet Nutrition I feel it is time to retire and hand over the reins. It has been a joyous and, at times, difficult journey. I have had great support from many people and organizations over the years and I would like to express my thanks to all of them.

“I am delighted that Assisi Pet Care is the right fit for Burns and they will grow the Burns brand in a responsible, ethical way.”

Assisi was advised on the transaction by Clarion (legal), Alvarez and Marsal (financial) and TAP (tax). Burns was advised by Cardiff-based Lexington (corporate finance), DJM (legal) and Swansea based at Bevan Buckland (tax).

Tom Coombes of Lexington, who acted on the deal alongside colleagues Jade Burgess and Pablo Shorney, said: “It was a pleasure to act for the shareholders on their sale to Assisi Pet Care Group. Based in the heart of Kidwelly, John Burns has built Burns Pet Nutrition into a market leader in premium dry and wet pet food products, with formulations focused on gut health to solve digestive problems. We look forward to seeing how the business and team will continue to grow and develop as part of Assisi Pet Care Group”

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