Belgium’s United Petfood has acquired Vital Petfood Group (VPG) in Denmark, marking the business’ first venture into the Nordic region.

The first plant in the Nordics for the Belgian dog and cat food manufacturer is “part of the planned growth strategy of United Petfood”, according to a statement.

Financial details were not disclosed.

Founded in 1997, Denmark’s VPG operates a factory in Ølgod where it produces dry and semi-moist food for cats and dogs. The pet food business is owned by Nordic Pet Care Group, which also distributes wild bird feed from its own factory in Aarhus under the Wild Bird business, which will continue under the Danish group’s ownership and is not part of the deal.

“Thanks to the acquisition of Vital Petfood Group, our network of production sites will be able to offer flexibility and brings our production more and more close to our customers also in the Nordics”, according to the management of United Petfood.

The acquisition still needs to be approved by Danish competition officials. 

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By GlobalData

“There has been a lot of consolidation within the pet food production industry during the recent years. We wanted to find a new owner to continue developing our petfood production in the long run,” said Nordic Pet Care Group CEO Mika Holappa. “This divestment enables us to focus and further strengthen our branded businesses within Nordic Pet Care Group.

“Being one of the leading European producers of pet food, United Petfood was an obvious choice of partner and new owner of VPG. We are confident that VPG will benefit from United Petfood’s European customer footprint as well extensive experience with operating multiple pet food production sites. Furthermore, we expect United Petfood to be able to utilise VPG’s strong position in the Nordics, and the Danish market, in particular,” he added.

Around 50 people will transfer from VPG to United Petfood, according to a spokesperson.

The move marks United Petfood’s second acquisition in the space of a month, as it snapped up Netherlands-based De Haan Petfood, a producer of wet dog and cat food, earlier this month.

Last February, it took a stake in Turkish peer Lider Pet Food, reportedly the largest pet-food producer in Turkey with 13 different brands, from economy to super-premium.

In December 2022, United Petfood added to its factory network by acquiring two pet-food facilities in Poland and Hungary from US agri-food heavyweight Cargill for an undisclosed sum. Before that, it acquired a factory in south-west France from French food company Neodis Group.