LONDON — Pooch & Mutt, a growing pet food brand based in the United Kingdom, announced Jan. 5 it has accepted a “multi-million pound” investment from its existing manufacturing partner, VAFO Group. VAFO is seeking a minority share in the company to help drive growth for the brand and its operations.

“Before this deal, I have never taken any outside investment and the share structure was the same as on day one,” said Guy Blaskey, founder and director of Pooch & Mutt. “It has taken a long time to find the right deal and the right partner. With VAFO we now have access to the best manufacturing in Europe with the widest range of products produced by any pet food manufacturer. We are now part of a network of ambitious companies who share our values and make great products.

“Most importantly… our goals are perfectly aligned, and perfectly aligned with our customers – we want to get more pets to eat great quality foods, treats and supplements to help them lead their best lives,” he added.

VAFO Group will provide funding and manufacturing capabilities to grow the pet food brand. VAFO will have the option to take more stock of Pooch & Mutt over time, according to the company.

As a result of the investment, Petr Kriz, head of mergers and acquisitions and member of the board for VAFO will join the Pooch & Mutt board. Blaskey will continue to lead Pooch & Mutt as director.

“I like to team up with people who share the same philosophy,” said Pavel Bouska, chief executive officer and owner of VAFO Group. “The quality and sustainability of our products and its impact on the health of pets is at the center of everything we do at VAFO. As we are predominantly producers, partnering with Guy Blaskey and Pooch & Mutt, who clearly share the same values and operate in the biggest pet food market in Europe, was only a natural step. Because we are a family company, our partnerships usually last for decades and not for years, as I am sure it will be in this case.”

Pooch & Mutt was launched in 2007 as a functional dog supplement company, but has since expanded to include treats and foods with functional and wholesome ingredients still at the center of formulations. The company is focused on producing natural, functional nutritional products for dogs and cats.

VAFO has recently invested in itself as well, opening its eighth manufacturing plant in May 2020. It has also invested in other companies across Germany, Finland, Sweden, Poland and Estonia. As a result of this most recent partnership, the door is open for Pooch & Mutt to expand in the United Kingdom and internationally.

VAFO Group also produces BRIT Veterinary Diet, an allergen-sensitive line of pet foods also including functional ingredients and probiotics.

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