Eurazeo Brands to acquire majority stake in French pet food brand Ultra Premium Direct
Eurazeo Brands, the division of Eurazeo focused on high growth, differentiated consumer brands, has signed an exclusivity agreement under which it will invest EUR68 million in Ultra Premium Direct as a majority shareholder.
Eurazeo is investing alongside co-founders Sophie and Matthieu Wincker and Eutopia, existing minority shareholder via Otium Consumer, which would reinvest in the transaction via its new fund.
Founded in 2013, Ultra Premium Direct (UPD) has quickly become a leading player in the French premium pet food market. As a digitally-native brand, it has a strong and engaged community, and was selected as one of the French Tech 120 in 2021. Thanks to its unique positioning and direct approach, Ultra Premium Direct aims at democratising premium pet food, offering natural products which cater to pet needs at an attractive price point, directly through its own website and subscription service.
Ultra Premium Direct is focused on improving pet health and well-being. The company develops high protein products with no artificial colourings or preservatives in collaboration with veterinarian nutritionists to ensure balanced and appropriate recipes. Its R&D capabilities and owned industrial plant in Agen, south of France, has enabled strong control over its value chain and contributed to the local roots of the brand.
Eurazeo Brands would leverage its proven brand building, operating and consumer expertise to partner with UPD and support the company’s growth. Specifically, Eurazeo will invest in UPD’s digital and e-commerce capabilities to strengthen the brand and its community, and work alongside management to enhance UPD’s product and service offering. In addition, Eurazeo would utilise its global network to help UPD in its international expansion, notably in Europe, and provide its
This majority investment in Ultra Premium Direct demonstrates Eurazeo Brands’ willingness to pursue its European development, after the acquisition of Swedish brand Axel Arigato in November 2020. It would represent Eurazeo Brands ninth investment since May 2017.
Laurent Droin, Managing Director of Eurazeo Brands, says: "The pet food category benefits from very attractive underlying trends towards pet humanisation, premiumisation and search for quality and transparency. We are convinced that Ultra Premium Direct is a modern and differentiated brand as a result of its direct approach to consumers, without intermediaries, and high quality product offering distributed at a fair price point. We are eager to work alongside Sophie and Matthieu Wincker – co-founders of Ultra Premium Direct – and their team to support the future growth of the company by accelerating momentum in France and expanding internationally, penetrating new geographies."
Sophie and Matthieu Wincker, Co-founders of Ultra Premium Direct, say: "We are thrilled by Eurazeo’s investment into the company. Ultra Premium Direct was a pioneer in the pet food category and has become a leading player in France. We are delighted to benefit from Eurazeo’s support for our next journey, notably for our European expansion, and are convinced Eurazeo will be the right partner given their successful track record and capabilities. Together, we will further fulfil our mission to make quality pet food accessible to as many dogs and cats as possible."