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SPE Mid-Market Fund I Delivers First Exit

Staff writer
Nov. 6, 2023, 8:26 a.m.
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Word count: 402

Sanlam Private Equity, the private equity division of Sanlam Investments, has sold its majority stake in a pet care retailer Absolute Pets to Woolworths Holdings.

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Sanlam Private Equity, the private equity division of Sanlam Investments, has sold its majority stake in a pet care retailer Absolute Pets to Woolworths Holdings.

This marks the first exit from the SPE Mid-Market Fund I, which was launched by Sanlam as part of the Investor Legacy Range with a commitment to protect, grow and enhance jobs in the South African economy through its private equity investments.

The conclusion of the transaction is subject to the fulfilment of both regulatory and commercial suspensive conditions customary of a transaction of this nature, including competition authority approval in South Africa.

Absolute Pets is South Africa’s leading specialist pet care retailer, with an omnichannel offering that provides pet parents with a retail product range that spans pet food, healthcare products, accessories as well as toys, treats, grooming services, and pet insurance. 

Following its investment in Absolute Pets, Sanlam Private Equity has overseen a period of rapid expansion, with the retailer growing its footprint to over 150 stores nationwide.

The sale will see Woolworths acquire 93.45% of the shares in Absolute Pets from Sanlam Private Equity and Absolute Pets management.

John Seymour, Chairman of Sanlam Private Equity, said the sale marks the end of a successful period as majority shareholders of Absolute Pets. 

“The pet care industry is experiencing strong growth tailwinds, driven by increased pet ownership, humanisation and increased premium spending on pets. In Absolute Pets, we identified an opportunity to work alongside a quality management team to leverage these trends by supporting the growth of the leading business in the South African pet care sector. Our partnership has been successful, with the increase in stores to over 150 and over 200 jobs created,” he said.

Seymour added his team played an important support role to the very strong management team at Absolute Pets: “Working alongside the passionate Absolute Pets team has been a pleasure and has resulted in a successful investment for Sanlam Private Equity. We believe that this is the right time for a transition to Woolworths for Absolute Pets and we wish them both all the best with the next part of their growth story.”

Stephen Warner, CEO of Absolute Pets, commented: “Sanlam Private Equity has been an excellent partner in Absolute Pets, and we’d like to thank them for supporting the strategy and growth of the business and are grateful for the valued contribution that they have made to Absolute Pets.”

 

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