International private equity firm, Cinven, today announces that it has signed an agreement to acquire a majority stake in Arcaplanet, a pet care retail chain in Italy, from funds advised by Permira and Winch Capital Partners.  As part of the transaction, Cinven and Arcaplanet will jointly acquire Maxi Zoo Italia, the third largest pet care operator in the Italian market, and a subsidiary of Fressnapf Group. The combination of Arcaplanet and Maxi Zoo Italia (together ‘the Arcaplanet Group’) creates one of the leading pet care platforms in Italy, selling food and non-food products in c. 500 stores across Italy and online.

Headquartered in Italy, Arcaplanet was founded in 1995 by CEO, Michele Foppiani. Its first store opened in Chiavari, Liguria in 1998 and Arcaplanet is now present in 17 regions across Italy.

Headquartered in Germany, Fressnapf Group is a leading pet care provider in Europe, operating under the Maxi Zoo brand in more than 11 countries, including Italy.

Cinven will work in close strategic partnership with minority partner, Fressnapf Group, to capitalise on the growth opportunity at the Arcaplanet Group alongside management.

Building on Cinven’s significant expertise in the pet care market through its investment in Partner in Pet Food, a leading European pet food platform and market consolidator, Cinven’s Consumer sector team worked closely with its Italian and German teams to create this unique transaction. Together, the Cinven teams originated and cultivated two attractive and complementary investment opportunities in Arcaplanet and Maxi Zoo Italia, culminating in the proprietary combination to form the Arcaplanet Group.  Key investment attractions include:

  • The €3.4 billion Italian pet care market is one of the largest in Europe and remains highly fragmented, with significant further growth potential underpinned by penetration and premiumisation;
  • Pet care is a large and resilient market with strong structural growth underpinned by long-term trends including the rise in pet ownership, pet ‘humanisation’ and demand for product premiumisation and innovation;
  • Online penetration of pet care in Italy, compared to Western Europe, is fast-growing; there is considerable potential to accelerate and improve the Group’s digital and omnichannel strategy, building on Cinven’s experience of online and omnichannel retail via Allegro and Kurt Geiger;
  • Arcaplanet is a strong and well-recognised pet care brand with an excellent customer proposition;
  • Both Arcaplanet and Maxi Zoo Italia have strong track records of financial performance and cash generation achieved through organic growth and, in the case of Arcaplanet, bolt-on acquisitions; and
  • High calibre and innovative management team, led by Michele Foppiani, an entrepreneur who successfully grew Arcaplanet to become one of the Italian market leaders from its foundation 25 years ago.

Commenting on the transaction, Maxim Crewe, Partner and Head of Consumer at Cinven, said:

“The combination of Arcaplanet and Maxi Zoo Italia creates a fantastic platform from which to drive growth in the pet care market and we look forward to working with management and Fressnapf to accelerate this opportunity. Cinven’s Consumer team has deep understanding of the pet care sector given Cinven’s investment in Partner in Pet Food, and the mega trends fuelling sector growth such as pet humanisation and product premiumisation and specialisation.  In addition, Cinven has considerable experience in omnichannel retailing and accelerating digital strategies, and we look forward to supporting the Arcaplanet Group’s expansion in these areas.”

Eugenio Preve, Partner and Head of Italy at Cinven, added:

“Arcaplanet is a clear market leader in Italy, best positioned to capitalise on the omnichannel market opportunity going forward. This investment fits with Cinven’s focus of investing in Italian champions to support their growth both domestically and internationally. In particular, the Cinven team has been impressed with the entrepreneurial vision of Arcaplanet’s Founder and CEO, Michele Foppiani, and the business’s considerable achievements under his leadership.”

Cinven’s investment in the Arcaplanet Group builds on its current investment in Partner in Pet Food, a market-leading pet food manufacturer, headquartered in Hungary. In Italy, Cinven’s track record includes Avio, a designer and manufacturer of aerospace components, and Eurovita, a life insurance provider.

The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals.