Roark Capital Group Acquires Pet Valu
Posted: Friday, September 4, 2009, 2:36 p.m., EDT
Roark Capital Group, an Atlanta-based private equity firm, has acquired Canadian pet specialty retailer and distributor Pet Valu for about $132 million. Roark representatives have expressed plans to grow the company.
Pet Valu, headquartered in Markham, Ontario, has 295 corporate and franchised stores in Canada and 61 stores in the United States. The company had about $222 million in system-wide sales during FY 2008, according to a recent financial report.
The acquisition was approved at a special meeting on Aug. 25 by shareholders of Pet Valu Inc. and its Canadian subsidiary Pet Valu Canada Inc. The deal received court approval the following day.
As a result of the transaction, Pet Valu Canada’s shares were to be delisted this week and Pet Valu will become a private company.
“We believe this transaction is in the best interests of our shareholders and also represents a promising opportunity for our customers, employees and franchisees,” departing Pet Valu Chairman Ian Ross said in a statement. “Roark brings to Pet Valu deep experience investing in franchise and specialty retail business, and we have every confidence that, under Roark’s guidance, Pet Valu will continue to grow and thrive in the future.”
This is Roark’s 15th franchise investment. Ezra Field, Roark’s managing director, said Pet Valu is consistent with the firm’s strategy of investing in “value-added” franchises that have strong brands and market positions, experienced management and a loyal customer base.
“We are excited to work together with Pet Valu’s team and franchisees to help grow the brand,” he said.
In a previous interview with Pet Product News International, Field said Pet Valu has potential for growth in a number of areas — through its corporate or franchise locations and by expanding its presence in the United States or Canada.
He said Roark will consult with Pet Valu’s management team on how to prioritize those growth opportunities.
Pet Valu founder Geoffrey Holt will retire as CEO and be replaced by Tom McNeely, a Canadian resident with extensive experience in franchising, spatiality retail and distribution.
In addition, Steve Romaniello, managing director of Roark, and Russ Reynolds, CEO of Roark portfolio company Batteries Plus, will join the Pet Valu Board. <HOME>
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