Cinven to sell a majority stake in Partner in Pet Food, retaining a minority stake as it continues to partner with the Company and management team to deliver the ambitious future growth plans

International private equity firm, Cinven, today announces that it has agreed to sell a majority stake in Partner in Pet Food (‘PPF’), a market-leading pan-European pet food manufacturer, to funds managed by CVC (‘CVC’).

PPF produces a full range of pet food products from 12 facilities around Europe and supplies more than 280 customers across more than 35 countries, including speciality pet retailers, general food retailers, discounters, and online specialists. Its product range includes both private label and branded pet food and covers all categories, quality tiers and price points, including wet and dry food, snacks and treats in a variety of serving formats. One of few truly pan-European players, PPF manufactured c.700 thousand tons of pet food and generated revenues of approximately €800 million in 2023.

Cinven’s Consumer team has a long-standing track record of successfully investing in the pet care space, a structurally growing market underpinned by the consumer megatrend of Pet Humanisation. Alongside recent investments such as Arcaplanet and Restaurant Brands Iberia, and exits such as Planasa and Allegro, this transaction further highlights Cinven’s role as a leading investor in the European Consumer sector.

Following the acquisition of PPF by Cinven funds in 2018, Cinven’s Consumer team worked closely with management to transform the business through a combination of successful buy-and-build, investment for growth and a series of commercial and operational initiatives to deliver outstanding performance, with EBITDA today 4x its level at acquisition. Key initiatives included:

  • Significant investment in strengthening the PPF management team, including the appointment of CEO, Gerald Kuehr, and Chairman, Xavier Belison;
  • Successful track record of M&A, with five acquisitions completed, including the transformational acquisitions of Doggy and Giuntini, adding new capabilities across categories, brands and new geographies;
  • Extensive investment in both R&D and innovation, supporting new product development, product premiumisation and channel expansion; and in manufacturing capabilities, with significant investment behind single-serve pouch capacity, making PPF a clear leader in the European pouch segment;
  • International expansion and new market entry, particularly across Western European and Nordic markets, repositioning PPF from a CEE regional champion to a pan-European leader; and
  • Implementing an industry leading ESG and sustainability programme, with PPF being the only private label pet food supplier with SBTi validated targets in Europe.


Commenting on the investment, Maxim Crewe – Partner and Head of the Consumer and Financial Services teams at Cinven said:

“PPF is a fantastic business and it has been another great Consumer investment for Cinven, further cementing Cinven’s position as a leading investor in the European Consumer market, alongside investments such as Allegro, Restaurant Brands Iberia, Planasa and Arcaplanet. We are proud of the success that the Company has achieved during Cinven funds’ ownership period, and our role in creating a market leader in European pet food. Working closely with Gerald, Xavier and the team has been fantastic, and we’re delighted to have the chance to reinvest in the business and continue our successful partnership with the PPF team.” 

Matteo Corà, Partner, Head of the Italian team and member of the Consumer team at Cinven, added:

Cinven has deep expertise in the pet sector, which allowed us to be a strong partner for the management team at PPF, and to help accelerate organic growth and execute on multiple strategic M&A opportunities. Together with Gerald and the team we’ve transformed the business, expanding into multiple new products, channels and markets. Under Cinven’s ownership, the company has invested over €125 million across PPF’s plants and added more than 150 thousand tons of production capacity for premium products, while developing PPF’s R&D capabilities and delivering a leading ESG agenda. We look forward to continuing our partnership with the PPF team for the next phase of growth.”

Gerald Kuehr, CEO of Partner in Pet Food, said:

“It has been a great privilege to partner with Cinven and the rest of the PPF team on this exciting journey. With the support of Cinven, we have transformed PPF into a pan-European market leader and – importantly – into a company at the forefront of the industry for its ESG programme and employee engagement. I am very proud of what the PPF team has achieved during my tenure, and I am delighted to renew our partnership with the Cinven team for the next phase, as we welcome CVC as our new majority shareholder in the Company.”

BofA Securities and Goldman Sachs acted as financial advisors to Cinven on the transaction.

Financial details of the transaction are not disclosed. Completion of the transaction is expected before the end of 2024 and is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.