AlphaPet Ventures wins capiton as new lead investor and acquires Healthfood24 (Wolfsblut)
Munich, 23. January 2020
AlphaPet Ventures GmbH, www.alpha.pet, stands for the digitalisation of the pet market as well as the successful brand development 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 species-appropriate dog food brand to advance this category and has already been voted Germany’s most popular dog food brand several times*.
From the point of view of the private equity investor capiton, which is taking over 36% of the shares in AlphaPet Ventures with its fund capiton V in the course of the transaction and thus financing the acquisition, the merger of the established Wolfsblut brand with the dynamically growing digital brand builder AlphaPet offers great potential for further growth.
In addition to the new equity investor capiton, Muzinich & Co. is supporting the transaction with acquisition financing.
AlphaPet Ventures and Healthfood24 have enjoyed a successful business relationship for many years, 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 developed independently under the umbrella of AlphaPet Ventures GmbH, while sales will be expanded via AlphaPet’s subsidiary Premium Pet Products GmbH and its sales team with field sales. Online, AlphaPet’s digital know-how will be used to an even greater extent.
With the acquisition, AlphaPet further expands its position as a leading premium provider with multi-channel distribution and positions itself as a strong player in the market with a turnover of almost three-digit millions.
Marco Hierling, Managing Director and founder of AlphaPet Ventures, on the acquisition: “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 distribution to over 10,000 stationary retailers. The Wolfsblut brand brings us much closer to our goal of establishing AlphaPet as the leading supplier of premium pet food with multi-channel distribution in Europe. We continue to build on the existing supplier and customer relationships of the two companies and look forward to expanding these further in the coming year.”
Felix Becker, founder of Healthfood24: “I founded the Wolfsblut brand 15 years ago to counter the dog food offers of the big manufacturers with a species-appropriate dog food. Even the brand name is associated with nature and the imagery including the wolf still describes the category best today. Wolfsblut is the category role model and has become a must-have for a growing group of dog owners. Through 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 team at AlphaPet, I see great potential in further building the brand, not only nationally but also internationally. I am convinced that with the team at AlphaPet, we can realise Wolfsblut’s potential.”
Christoph Karbenk, Partner at capiton: “We accompany medium-sized companies in the implementation of their growth objectives. We see great potential in the combination of AlphaPet, a digital and dynamically growing company, and the strong Wolfsblut brand, which is excellently positioned in the pet market. We look forward to helping shape the long-term success of AlphaPet in the coming years.”
Stefan Pfannmöller, Managing Director of Venture Stars and shareholder of AlphaPet Ventures GmbH: “Having accompanied AlphaPet with Venture Stars since its inception, we are entering 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 the European House of Brands for premium pet food with multi-channel distribution. It turns out that the buy-and-build strategy also works very successfully with other Venture Stars investments.”
“In addition to improving the existing market position, the merger of AlphaPet Ventures and Healthfood24 will enable the combined business to strengthen its overall positioning in Germany and Austria in the future and to consistently expand multi-channel distribution,” explains Dr Ulrich Bergmoser, Managing Director of Reimann Investors. In this way, the companies want to further advance their joint vision of establishing healthy pet food in the mainstream. After capiton, Reimann Investors holds the largest stake in AlphaPet Ventures.
The acquisition is still subject to clearance by the German Federal Cartel Office.
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About AlphaPet Ventures GmbH
AlphaPet Ventures GmbH, www.alpha.pet, with its 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 digitalisation of the pet market as well as the successful digital brand building and multi-channel distribution of premium pet food.
The company offers a wide range of high-quality food, accessories and services for dogs and cats. Currently, a team of nearly 100 employees, 12 cats and more than 20 dogs work daily to test and improve product quality, provide information with individual advice and offer a comprehensive service for the benefit of the animal.
About Wolfsblut and Healthfood24 GmbH
Healthfood24 GmbH was founded by Felix Becker and established the category of species-appropriate dog food with the Wolfsblut brand. The brand is one of the German market leaders and has already been voted the most popular dog food brand in Germany several times*. Wolfsblut focuses on the trend towards healthy nutrition, which will lead dog owners further and further towards species-appropriate dog food. With a team of about 25 employees, the brands of Healthfood24 are primarily sold in stationary specialised trade and in online specialised trade. The product portfolio is continuously being expanded in the areas of dry food, wet food and snacks for dogs and cats.
*Market research institute Konzept & Markt, 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 fund volume of over € 1.3 billion. Currently, capiton AG has 11 medium-sized companies in its investment portfolio. capiton acts as an equity partner for management buy-outs and growth financing of established medium-sized companies.
About Reimann Investors
Reimann Investors is the family office and business group of members of the Reimann family of entrepreneurs, who divested their stake in the former family business at the end of the 1990s. Since 2007, Reimann Investors has been investing in young, innovative and rapidly expanding companies. Reimann Investors sees itself as a strategically active and long-term oriented shareholder that accompanies and promotes the development of companies in close cooperation with the management. The focus of the investments is on digital companies in the areas of premium consumer commerce, FinTech, SaaS and digital services. For example, in addition to AlphaPet Ventures, Deutsche Handelsbank, which specialises in e-commerce and payment transactions, is also part of Reimann Investors’ portfolio.
About Venture Stars
Venture Stars is a Munich-based venture capital fund focused on early-stage investments in innovative, digital B2C and B2B business models. Venture Stars was founded by Martin Junker, Florian Calmbach and Stefan Pfannmöller. The team of entrepreneurs currently runs two funds, which typically invest between EUR 0.5-1.5m initially and up to EUR 5m in total per portfolio company. Venture Stars started as a company builder and therefore traditionally works very closely with the founders of its portfolio companies. Venture Stars’ support therefore also goes beyond the invested capital and includes know-how, networking and operational support on topics such as strategy, organisational development, financing and exit.