AnimalSupplyCoCompany: Animal Supply Co.

Industry:  Specialty Distribution/Pet Products

Date of Initial Investment: April 2010

 

Company Overview

Animal Supply is the leading national distributor of pet products to independent pet stores, veterinary clinics and other pet product specialty retailers. The company operates 26 distribution facilities with more than 1,000,000 square feet of warehouse space and provides service to approximately 15,000 pet specialty retail locations throughout the United States and the Caribbean on behalf of over 400 vendors.

Opportunity

  • Company founders wanted a partner for growth that could help them facilitate succession planning and seize an industry consolidation opportunity while still maintaining a meaningful ownership interest.
  • The investment represented an opportunity to partner with an exceptional management team and acquire a majority stake in a niche market leader within a highly fragmented sector with strong, recession-resistant fundamentals.

Key Initiatives

  • Halifax worked closely with the founders to professionalize and grow the business. These efforts included:
    • Developing and executing succession plans for the founders
    • Developing a highly detailed strategic growth plan to drive above industry organic growth and acquisition growth
    • Developing and executing a nation-wide acquisition and integration plan
    • Planning and launching a private label line of pet supplies
    • Creating a new centrally located headquarters and shared service center
    • Enhancing and building out the company’s management team with seasoned executives
    • Developing the management structure, processes and infrastructure to support the rapidly growing business
  • Other key growth initiatives included:
    • Building out experienced board of directors with highly successful distribution and pet industry executives
    • Conducting multiple strategic planning retreats and consulting studies in support of growth strategies
    • Implementing best practices and consistent definitions, measurements and terms across the network

Outcome

  • Halifax successfully partnered with founders and management to create the first nationwide pet distribution platform for the independent retail channel, growing the business from an 8 state regional leader to the leading national distribution platform serving 46 states and the Caribbean. Full fifty state coverage will be attained by mid 2015.
  • To date, Halifax and management have completed 12 add-on acquisitions, and grown revenue and EBITDA by over 500%.

“Partnership” is an overdone word, but there can’t be a better way to describe the approach Halifax takes with its portfolio companies. For Halifax, that means asking management the right questions, ramping up quickly to understand the market, competition, strengths, weaknesses, short- and long-term goals. It means leveraging the resources and experience available throughout the Halifax network: search firms, analysts, accounting and finance firms, attorneys, and an occasional river guide. It means coming alongside management to help maximize the value of the business efficiently and effectively.

Gregg Marshall, Director, Animal Supply Company