Pet-food manufacturer Vafo Group has acquired Pooch & Mutt, a UK-based pet-food brand focused on natural ingredients, in a “multi-million pound” investment.

Czech Republic-headquartered Vafo, a long-time manufacturing partner of Pooch & Mutt, bought a minority share in the business in 2020, upping that to 40% in 2022, and has now acquired the remaining 60%.

Pooch & Mutt founder and ‘chief visionary officer’ Guy Blaskey, who also sits in Vafo’s management team, will remain at the London-based company.

Day-to-day running will be handled by managing director Paul Dennison, who has been in the role for a year.

Blaskey said: “Unlike many corporate takeovers, this is not an exercise in efficiencies and cost cutting. Vafo has supported our growth over the last few years, during which time we have trebled our staff, quadruped our turnover and developed a whole host of amazing new products.

“The success is not just about the Pooch & Mutt brand. As part of the Vafo family we are the UK representatives for all of their manufacturing capabilities, which are the best and broadest in the European pet food market. We are working with them to supply some of the largest retailers in the country.”

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He added: “We are using our significant online capabilities to grow the group’s digital business across Europe.”

Pooch & Mutt said it has grown over 400% “in the last few years” and is on track to turn over £18m ($23.3m) in 2023.

It is set to launch a brand later this year called Planet Pet Society, which will be focused on sustainability. “[It] has been a ‘pet project’ of mine to develop the world’s most sustainable pet food, based on second-chance ingredients,” Blaskey said.

Vafo has eight factories in countries including the Czech Republic, Finland and Estonia. Its other brands include Carnilove, Prima, Nutrican and Profine. It also manufactures private-label pet food for “most of the largest pet retailers in Europe”.