Pets are more popular than ever during the pandemic: During times of exit and contact restrictions, many people have acquired a dog, cat or other pet. Pet supply suppliers are also benefiting, food, collars, baskets and litter boxes are in greater demand than ever. And the market is competitive. Suppliers such as Fressnapf, Pets At Home from Great Britain or the jack-of-all-trades Amazon have recently seen significant growth. Munich-based online supplier Zooplus, which claims to be the leading internet platform for pet supplies in Europe, will also be in attendance. They are active in 30 countries, around eight million pet owners in Europe order regularly.
Today, an international financial investor wants to take over the listed company and further develop the business. The American holding company Hellman & Friedman offers nearly three billion euros. He would be offered 390 euros in cash per Zooplus share, Zooplus announced on Friday. The surprising and high supply caused the stock price to jump. Zooplus shares have increased by over 40%, well over 100 euros per share, and are now listed at just under 400 euros. It was even above the Hellman & Friedman offer.
After the takeover, Zooplus will be removed from the stock exchange. Zooplus’ board of directors and supervisory board support the American takeover. “Thanks to Hellman & Friedman, we can show what we can do,” company boss and founder Cornelius Patt told Reuters. Above all, he hopes that the recovery will generate investment in further growth. In the current structure, these were not always possible on a large scale. Zooplus had recently taken advantage of the Corona crisis and the associated online boom and increased its revenues by 18% last year to reach a record value of 1.8 billion euros; around 2.1 billion euros are planned for 2021. With the help of new investors, company boss Patt now wants to invest in his own brands, technology, marketing and logistics. The potential is huge, according to Patt: “One third of all Europeans have a pet.” The animal supplies market is expected to reach 50 billion euros in Europe by 2030.
Zooplus was founded in Munich in 1999. Initially, Munich-based media company Burda held a stake in the company for a long time, but then left the company and went public in 2008. Hellman & Friedman had previously been involved in several well-known German companies in the past, including Axel Springer, Pro Sieben Sat 1 and the Scout Group.