Pooch & Mutt, a UK-based pet food brand focused on natural ingredients, has sold a stake in the business to its long-time manufacturing partner, VAFO Group.

London-based Pooch & Mutt said the “multi-million pound” deal will help it grow the brand and develop operations in the UK.

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The deal sees Czech Republic-based VAFO taking a minority share in the company with the ability to take more over time. It will provide the funding and manufacturing capabilities for the brand to grow.

Pooch & Mutt’s founder, Guy Blaskey, remains at the helm of the London-based business, with the support of VAFO’s Petr Kriz, who joins the Pooch & Mutt board.

Blaskey said: “I am building Pooch & Mutt as a brand for the long-term, one that is focussed on high-quality, innovation and doing what is right for the nation’s pets. Before this deal, I have never taken any outside investment and the share structure was the same as on day one.

“It has taken a long time to find the right deal and the right partner. With VAFO, we now have access to the best manufacturing in Europe with the widest range of products produced by any pet-food manufacturer.

“We are now part of a network of ambitious companies who share our values and make great products. Most importantly, unlike with many other investment deals, our goals are perfectly aligned, and perfectly aligned with our customers – we want to get more pets to eat great quality foods, treats and supplements to help them lead their best lives.”

Pavel Bouska, CEO and the owner of VAFO Group, said: “I like to team up with people who share the same philosophy. The quality and sustainability of our products and its impact on the health of pets is at the centre of everything we do at VAFO.

“As we are predominantly producers, partnering with Guy Blaskey and Pooch & Mutt, who clearly share the same values and operate in the biggest pet food market in Europe, was only a natural step. Because we are a family company, our partnerships usually last for decades and not for years, as I am sure it will be in this case.”

VAFO opened its eighth production facility in May last year.