IK Investment Partners (IK) has announced it has acquired a majority stake in Forthglade Foods Limited, marking the first investment by IK’s newly established UK team.
Forthglade is a UK based natural pet food brand that produces premium wet and dry dog food and treats.
It was founded in 1971 and has been led by Gerard Lovell and Chris Brooking since their management buyout in 2011 and subsequent investment by Piper in 2015.
IK will acquire a majority stake in the group, with the management team reinvesting alongside.
The Devon-based pet food company currently employs over 130 people in the UK, and distributes across supermarkets, independent specialist pet retailers and online retailers, including its own website.
Its recipes use natural ingredients, high meat content, gentle cooking methods, and grain free recipes.
In light of an increasing demand for natural pet food, and following strategic investments in production processes, marketing, and operations, its branded sales have soared by over 30% per annum in the last three years.
In addition, the group is set to generate over £22m in sales in the year to September 2020, having seen sales “accelerate” ahead of expectations throughout the lockdown period.
The latest investment will help the company increase brand awareness and distribution to drive growth in the UK and overseas. IK will also support its ongoing digital development, as well as further expansion in its product range and growth in its manufacturing capabilities.
Gerard Lovell, joint managing director of Forthglade, said: “We have thoroughly enjoyed working with Piper whose support and expertise have been invaluable in helping us achieve so much.
“We are delighted to partner with IK for the next stage of our growth. With their experience across food production and animal health and an established Pan-European footprint, they are well placed to help us grow our offering and enter new markets.”
He added: “We have exciting plans ahead as we look to expand our success in wet into cold pressed and treats, and we see a strong runway for growth ahead.”