Woolworths to acquire Absolute Pets

Woolworths announced that it intends to acquire a majority shareholding in privately owned pet retailer Absolute Pets.

The company explained that pet care is an attractive and rapidly developing market with substantial growth potential.

“It is also an increasingly important category for Woolworths customers, who consider their pets an integral part of their families,” the company said.

“Absolute Pets has a complementary brand positioning, a well-established market presence, and is led by a strong management team.”

Absolute Pets was established in 2005 and has become one of South Africa’s leading specialist pet care retailers, with over 150 stores across the country.

“The acquisition of Absolute Pets will accelerate Woolworths’ pet strategy by bringing together two strategically aligned businesses and position the Woolworths group well to become the end-to-end pet care destination of choice in South Africa,” the company said.

Absolute Pets CEO Stephen Warner and the current management team will continue to operate and lead the business under the Absolute Pets brand.

Woolworths is hoping to acquire 93.45% of the shares in the company from Sanlam Private Equity and Absolute Pets management.

The remaining management-retained shareholding will be acquired by Woolworths over an agreed period following the initial transaction.

Woolworths said the purchase consideration will be settled in cash, and the conclusion of the transaction is subject to the fulfilment of both regulatory and commercial suspensive conditions customary for a transaction of this nature.

This includes approval by South Africa’s competition authorities.

Woolworths CEO Roy Bagattini said, “Absolute Pets and Woolies are a natural fit. Both have a strong commitment to excellence and quality.”

“The Absolute Pets brand has earned the trust of pet owners across South Africa, and I am truly excited by the opportunities our partnership brings to leverage our joint strengths and expertise to provide even more customers with the best overall pet service and experience in the market.”

Warner said, “We are delighted to be joining forces with a brand like Woolworths, whose vision and values are so closely aligned with our own.”

“We look forward to embarking on this journey of growth and collaboration together as we continue to enrich the lives of pets and their loving owners.”