Chinese private equity buys ZiwiPeak air-dried pet food

China-based private equity firm FountainVest Partners will acquire pet food company Ziwi, maker of ZiwiPeak brand.

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New Zealand’s continued human and pet population growth present opportunities for pet food manufacturers looking to do more international business. | (ekavector | iStock.com)
New Zealand’s continued human and pet population growth present opportunities for pet food manufacturers looking to do more international business. | (ekavector | iStock.com)

China-based private equity firm FountainVest Partners will acquire pet food company Ziwi Ltd., maker of ZiwiPeak brand, reported Radio New Zealand. The acquisition will fund Ziwi’s further growth. Although the terms were not disclosed, the reporter speculated that the private equity firm bought the New Zealand-based pet food company for nearly NZD1.5 billion (US$1.04billion). Ziwi has sales of approximately NZD 50 million (US$35 million) annually. Despite the acquisition, Ziwi executives expect business to continue as usual.

Ziwi was founded in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand by a free-range deer farmer, Peter Mitchell, who had supplied deer meat to pet food companies internally previously, according to the company’s website.

Ziwi Limited sells its air-dried raw pet food, wet pet food and treats for dogs and cats in more than 25 countries, according to Petfood Industry’s Top Pet Food Companies Current Data. All meat and seafood are sourced in New Zealand and all Ziwi products are manufactured in New Zealand. The company’s annual revenue reached US$16,000,000 and employs 120 people.

Ziwi building pet food production facility

Ziwi is building a pet food production facility in Awatoto, New Zealand. The new 12,000 square meters (129,167 square foot) production kitchen will cost NZD70 million. The kitchen will be capable of doubling Ziwi’s current Tauranga kitchen output. It will also have new air-dried technology, which will allow the development of new product lines.

Work on the new Ziwi pet food facility started last year, with a completion date in September/October 2021. The company’s three Tauranga sites will continue to operate until late 2021 when production from these sites shifts to Napier and the three Tauranga sites will close. All employees at the Tauranga sites will be offered jobs at the new Napier kitchen. The company’s processing kitchen in Christchurch, and its Auckland-based sales and marketing team, are unaffected by the establishment of the new kitchen in Napier.

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