Vendis Capital takes bite into organic pet food provider Yarrah


European consumer-focused private equity firm Vendis Capital has bought a stake in Dutch cat and dog food provider Yarrah Organic Petfood.

The firm made the purchase through its €111.5m debut fund, which reached a final closed in January 2011.

Yarrah provides organic wet, dry and snack pet foods through more than 5,300 stores across 28 countries, with a particular focus on Germany and France.

Founder Jan-Jaap Roelevink said he had agreed to the partnership with Vendis to accelerate the company following several years of steady growth.

He said, ““This is a new phase in the development of a beautiful brand, which I started 20 years ago.

“With the entry of Vendis Capital and their knowledge of the consumer sector, we found the right partner to assist us in bringing Yarrah to a next phase of growth and development”.

Michiel Deturck of Vendis Capital said, “The strong market position in Western Europe, the excellent quality of the products and the long standing experience with organic pet food, convinced us of the growth potential of this company”.

Vendis has made four investment so far from its debut fund, which closed €11.5m above its original target.

Its stake in Yarrah is Vendis’ second purchase in the Netherlands following its investment in optical chain Eyes + More in 2010.

Vendis’ fund attracted 24 investors, and aims to provide growth and buy-out capital of between €5m and €15m to non-food retail and consumer businesses in Europe.

The firm was created by the former retail management team of Mitiska, an investment company focused on the European retail sector, and received cornerstone investments from the Colruyt family and the Colruyt group.

The fund is managed by a partnership composed of Michiel Deturck, Luc Geuten, Cedric Olbrechts and Willem Van Aelten, who worked together closely during their last years at Mitiska.

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