CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA — Woolworths Holdings Limited, a notable retail presence in sub-Sarahan Africa, Australia and New Zealand, announced plans to acquire nearly all of Absolute Pets Ltd, a South African pet care retailer, from company management and former owner Sanlam Private Equity. Woolworths intends to acquire 93.45% of Absolute Pets, with the remaining percentage residing with the retailer’s management and slated to be acquired by Woolworths “over an agreed period.”

Founded in 2005, Absolute Pets operates more than 150 pet retail stores across South Africa — where Woolworths got its start in 1931 — and is considered the country’s leading pet care retailer, according to Woolworths. Aside from a robust offering of pet nutrition and care products, Absolute Pets also provides pet services and spas, and sells products online.

“Absolute Pets and Woolies are a natural fit,” said Roy Bagattini, chief executive officer of Woolworths Holdings Limited Group. “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.”

According to Woolworths, the acquisition of Absolute Pets provides the retailer with a well-established, complementary market presence and strong management. The purchase is expected to bolster Woolworths’ presence in the growing pet care space as it seeks to become “the end-to-end pet care destination of choice in South Africa.”

“We are delighted to be joining forces with a brand like Woolworths, whose vision and values are so closely aligned with our own,” said Stephen Warner, chief executive officer of Absolute Pets. “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.”

Warner will continue to lead Absolute Pets following the transaction, with support from Woolworths.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, although Woolworths did share the transaction will be settled in cash and subject to regulatory, commercial and competitive approval in South Africa.

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