Yorkshire-based natural dog treats business Hollings has been acquired by new company Assisi Pet Care.
Hollings, founded in 1980 by Jeff and Celia Hollings, has its head office, warehousing and distribution operations in Skipton, as well as a purpose-built manufacturing facility in Worksop, producing a wide range of bones and treats. The company has a diverse customer base, from independent pet shops to major retailers and wholesalers.
Assisi is a new business that will be based at the Hollings head office. It will be will be headed up by entrepreneur Peter Mangion, along with all 50 Hollings employees including Emma Hollings, who remains head of sales.
Peter set up the business 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.
CEO Peter said: “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 Thursday (October 1), 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, said: “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.”