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Woolworths Holdings Limited Acquires Absolute Pets, South Africa’s Leading Pet Care Retailer

Tinashe Mupasiri



Cape Town, October 31, 2023 – In a strategic move to expand its market presence and cater to the growing demand in the pet care industry, Woolworths Holdings Limited (WHL) announced its intended acquisition of 93.45% of the shares of Absolute Pets (Proprietary) Limited, the renowned South African pet retailer. The acquisition, referred to as “the Transaction,” is set to transform Woolworths’ position in the pet care sector, aligning with the evolving needs of its customer base.

Established in 2005, Absolute Pets has established itself as a prominent specialist pet care retailer, boasting over 150 stores across the nation. The decision to acquire Absolute Pets from Sanlam Private Equity and Absolute Pets management is underpinned by the substantial growth potential within the pet care market and the increasing significance of pets within households.

Rationale and Strategic Implications

The pet care industry represents a lucrative market with evolving consumer dynamics, where pets are increasingly considered integral family members. Recognizing the shift in customer behavior and needs, Woolworths identified Absolute Pets as an ideal partner due to its established market presence, complementary brand positioning, and a robust management team. This acquisition is set to accelerate Woolworths’ pet strategy, positioning the company as the go-to destination for comprehensive pet care solutions in South Africa.

The acquisition aligns two strategically compatible businesses, leveraging Absolute Pets’ strong market standing and Woolworths’ retail expertise. Under this agreement, Absolute Pets will continue to operate under its brand, benefiting from the support and resources provided by the Woolworths group.

Transaction Details and Conclusion

The purchase consideration for the acquisition will be settled in cash, subject to regulatory and commercial suspensive conditions customary for a transaction of this nature. Notably, the completion of the transaction is contingent upon the approval of competition authorities in South Africa.

Financial Advisor, Translink Corporate Finance; Transactional Services Advisor, Deloitte South Africa; Legal Advisor, Webber Wentzel; and Equity Sponsor and Debt Sponsor, Investec Bank Limited, are providing their respective expertise to ensure the successful completion of the transaction.

As the Transaction falls below the categorization threshold according to the JSE Limited Listings Requirements, the announcement is being made voluntarily.

The acquisition of Absolute Pets marks a significant step in Woolworths’ commitment to diversification and meeting the evolving needs of its customers. It solidifies its position as a comprehensive provider of pet care solutions, further enhancing its market standing in South Africa.

For more information, please contact the Media Relations department at Woolworths Holdings Limited.

Note: This article is based on the voluntary announcement made by Woolworths Holdings Limited on the acquisition of Absolute Pets. It does not reflect subsequent developments or changes that may have occurred after the date mentioned in the announcement.

Financial Advisor: Translink Corporate Finance
Transactional Services Advisor: Deloitte South Africa
Legal Advisor: Webber Wentzel
Equity Sponsor and Debt Sponsor: Investec Bank Limited
31 October 2023

This announcement outlines the strategic implications, rationale, and details surrounding the acquisition, emphasizing the alignment of Woolworths’ strategic goals with the opportunities presented by Absolute Pets’ market presence and expertise in the pet care industry.

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