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Skipton-based Pet Care Business Acquires Town & Country Petfoods

Assisi Pet Care Ltd, the company behind Hollings, suppliers of natural dog treats, has acquired family-owned Town & Country Petfoods Ltd, for an undisclosed sum.

Established in 1974 by the Parkinson family, Town & Country is based in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, where it has a 26-strong team. It markets an extensive range of dog and cat foods and treats, primarily under the popular HiLife brand.

Based in Skipton, Assisi Pet Care was established in September 2020 as a joint venture between founder Peter Mangion and Harwood Capital with the objective of creating a significant player in the dynamic and fast-growing European pet care market. Assisi immediately acquired Hollings Ltd, the long-established natural dog treats business.

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The acquisition of Town & Country, which completed on 2nd March 2021, broadens the Assisi offer into dog foods, as well as into the cat foods and treats categories. As well as supplying its HiLife branded products, Town & Country also provides its own-label products to many leading supermarkets and pet care retailers.

Peter Mangion, Assisi CEO, said; “We are very grateful to the Parkinson family for partnering with Assisi and for trusting us to help take the Town & Country business and its successful HiLife brand to the next phase of its development.

“I am personally delighted that family members Tony and Peter Parkinson, and their sister, Julie Bitowt, have agreed to remain with the company as we integrate our existing sales, marketing, finance and operations functions, into the well-established Town & Country teams based at Melton Mowbray.

“Having completed our first acquisition just five months ago, Assisi’s rapid growth trajectory is on track and we are grateful for the continued support of Harwood as we move, with pace, to deliver on our ambitious strategy to become a leader in the European pet care sector. This transformational deal has created a £35m turnover business which is well-placed to offer a huge array of products to the rapidly expanding pet care market.”

Tony Parkinson, Town & Country’s managing director, said: “As a family, we are very pleased that our brand and our Melton Mowbray team will be playing such a pivotal role in Assisi’s exciting and ambitious plans. The high quality of product and service that pet owners and trade customers have come to expect from HiLife will be the benchmark for the expanding business. We believe that the creation of this larger business will bring a fresh, much-needed presence in what remains one of the most satisfying markets in which to operate.”

The advisers to Assisi on the deal included Kaira Clarehugh and Jonathan Simms (corporate) and Andrea Unwin (banking) of Clarion who provided legal advice; corporate finance advice from Park Place; Steve Williams and Mark Hunter of Murray Harcourt; Russ Cahill of Tax Advisory Partnership. BDB Pitmans advised Harwood; and the management was advised by Raworths.

Town & Country was advised by Clearwater International, Browne Jacobson and Duncan & Toplis.

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