Munich, 23 January 2020: AlphaPet Ventures GmbH, www.alpha.pet, stands for the digitisation of the pet market as well as the successful development of brands and multi-channel distribution of premium pet food. The merger with Healthfood24 will further strengthen the AlphaPet brand portfolio with the Wolfsblut brand.
Wolfsblut is one of the leading brands in the premium dog food segment, was the first dog food brand suitable for the animal to promote this category and has been voted the most popular dog food brand in Germany several times*.
From the point of view of the private equity investor capiton, which will take over 36% of the shares in AlphaPet Ventures in the course of the transaction with its fund capiton V and thus financing the acquisition, the merger of the established Wolfsblut brand with the dynamically growing digital brand builder AlphaPet will offer great potential for further growth.
In addition to the new equity investor capiton, Muzinich & Co. will support the transaction with acquisition financing.AlphaPet Ventures and Healthfood24 have enjoyed a long and successful business relationship, during which AlphaPet became Healthfood24’s largest and most important online sales partner. Following the acquisition of Healthfood24, the Wolfsblut and Wildcat brands will be further developed independently under the umbrella of AlphaPet Ventures GmbH. Sales will be expanded through AlphaPet’s subsidiary Premium Pet Products GmbH and its sales team with a sales force. AlphaPet’s digital know-how will be used even more online.
With the acquisition, AlphaPet will be further expanding its position as a leading premium provider with multi-channel sales and will position itself as a strong player on the market with sales almost in the three-digit million range.
Regarding the acquisition, Marco Hierling, Managing Director and founder of AlphaPet Ventures, explains, “Wolfsblut is a strong premium brand, for which we see great potential thanks to our digital know-how, direct access to end customers and established sales to now over 10,000 offline retailers. With the Wolfsblut brand, we are a big step closer to our goal of establishing AlphaPet as the leading provider of premium pet food with multi-channel sales in Europe. We shall continue to rely on the two companies’ relationships with the existing suppliers and customers and look forward to further expanding them in the coming year.”
Felix Becker, founder of Healthfood24, says, “I founded the Wolfsblut brand 15 years ago to counter the major manufacturers’ offers on dog food with dog food suitable for the animal. Even the brand name itself is associated with nature and the metaphor that includes the word ‘wolf’ still best describes the category to this day. Wolfsblut is the category model and has become a must-have for a growing group of dog owners. Thanks to the high-quality and innovative recipes of the products, I was able to successfully establish the brand in the premium market and make it one of the most popular dog food brands. Through the AlphaPet team, I see great potential in the further development of the brand, not only at home, but also abroad. I am convinced that with the AlphaPet team, we can exploit the potential of Wolfsblut.”
Christoph Karbenk, a partner of capiton says, “We support medium-sized companies in implementing their growth objectives. We see great potential in merging AlphaPet, a digitally and dynamically growing company, with the strong Wolfsblut brand, which is excellently positioned in the pet market. We look forward to helping shape AlphaPet’s long-term success over the next few years.”
Stefan Pfannmöller, Managing Director of Venture Stars and partner of AlphaPet Ventures GmbH, explains, “After accompanying AlphaPet with Venture Stars since its foundation, we will be initiating a new phase with the acquisition of Wolfsblut. We are pleased to take this step together with a renowned private equity investor like capiton. With sales mainly from the brand business, we want to grow profitably to become a European house of brands for premium pet food with multi-channel sales. It turns out that the buy-and-build strategy works very successfully for other Venture Stars investments as well.”
“In addition to improving the existing market position, the merger of AlphaPet Ventures and Healthfood24 will in future enable the combined business to strengthen its position in Germany and Austria as a whole and to consistently expand multi-channel sales,” Dr Ulrich Bergmoser, Managing Director of Reimann Investors explains. In this way, the companies wish to further push forward the vision they share of establishing healthy pet food within the mainstream sector. According to capiton, Reimann Investors holds the largest share in AlphaPet Ventures.
The acquisition is still subject to approval by the Federal Cartel Office.
AlphaPet Ventures GmbH, www.alpha.pet, with the online platforms www.petsPremium.de and www.hundeland.de, as well as its own brands such as Wildes Land, PRIMUM, Daily Choice or Müllers Naturhof, stands for the digitisation of the pet market as well as the successful development of brands and multi-channel distribution of premium pet food. The company offers a wide range of high-quality pet food, accessories and services for dogs and cats. A team of almost 100 employees, 12 cats and more than 20 dogs is currently working on a daily basis to test and improve product quality, to provide information with individual advice and to offer comprehensive service to the benefit of animals.
Healthfood24 GmbH was founded by Felix Becker through which the category dog food suitable for the animal was established with the Wolfsblut brand. The brand is one of Germany’s market leaders and has already been voted the most popular dog food brand in Germany several times*. Wolfsblut is committed to the trend of healthy diet, which will lead to dog owners increasingly purchasing dog food suitable for the animal. With a team of around 25 employees, the Healthfood24 brands are primarily sold in specialist offline and online shops. The product portfolio is continuously being expanded in the areas of dry food, canned food and snacks for dogs and cats.
*Konzept & Markt research institute, surveys from 2015 and 2017: Wolfsblut is the most popular dog food brand in Germany
capiton is an independent, owner-managed private equity company that manages a total volume of funds amounting to over €1.3 billion. There are currently 11 medium-sized companies in capiton AG’s investment portfolio. As an equity partner, capiton accompanies management buy-outs and growth financing for established medium-sized companies.
Reimann Investors is the family office and the corporate group of members of the Reimann entrepreneurial family, who ended their participation in the former family company in the late 1990s. Reimann Investors has been investing in young, innovative and rapidly expanding companies since 2007. Reimann Investors sees itself as a strategically active and long-term shareholder who accompanies and promotes the development of companies in close cooperation with the management. It focusses on investing in digital companies from the areas of premium consumer commerce, FinTech, SaaS and digital services. For example, Deutsche Handelsbank, which specialises in e-commerce and payment transactions, is part of the Reimann Investors portfolio in addition to AlphaPet Ventures.
Venture Stars is a Munich based venture capital firm focused on early-stage investments in innovative, digital B2C and B2B business models founded by Martin Junker, Florian Calmbach and Stefan Pfannmöller. The team of serial internet entrepreneurs currently manages two funds typically investing €500k – 1.5m EUR initially and up to 5m in total per company. Having started as a company builder, Venture Stars has a tradition of working very closely with the founders of its portfolio companies. Venture Stars’ support goes beyond capital and includes know-how, network and operational manpower on topics such as strategy, organizational development, financing and exit.
AlphaPet Ventures GmbH
Landsberger Str. 234, 80687 Munich