24 Mar 2022

Arcaplanet: Excellent pedigree, perfect form

At the beginning of our journey, Arcaplanet was a high-growth company run by an excellent leadership team. Through the partnership between Permira and management, Arcaplanet was able to strengthen its brand, develop its product portfolio - with the introduction of its own, high-quality exclusive brands - invest in the omnichannel proposition and build a truly loyal following of pet parents. It was a textbook consumer success, executed with skill by the CEO and his team.

When we began our partnership with Arcaplanet, it was a well-managed, founder-led pet-care retailer and the leader in a fragmented Italian market. Our experience and expertise in consumer investing, coupled with the management team’s knowledge of the sector, made us confident that the business had the potential to sustain its long-term, double-digit growth, consolidate its leadership position and reach many more Italian pet owners.

Ahead of the pack

Arcaplanet was founded in 1995 and is the leading omnichannel pet care brand in Italy, offering a broad range of premium pet care products, including its own exclusive brands.
We began looking at the business in 2015 and were attracted by Arcaplanet’s market-leading position in a highly-fragmented market that offered a resilient underlying growth profile. In addition, the company experienced very positive momentum, with approximately 30% top-line CAGR in the five years before our acquisition.

After the investment in 2016, we worked in close partnership with management to grow and transform the business across a number of dimensions, including:

  • Development of omnichannel proposition, both offline (when the company was focused on network expansion to exploit a large white space in Italy) and online (with investments in the online team and infrastructure);
  • Development and launch of over 10 high-quality, own exclusive brands, following customer demand for high quality products;
  • Market consolidation through five bolt-ons and one transformational acquisition with the purchase of Fortesan, the number four player in Italy;
  • Significant investment in marketing to further strengthen brand awareness and market leadership position, with budget increased five-fold since entry;
  • Management team strengthened with hire of senior managers in sales, e-commerce, marketing, R&D and IT.

Big fish, big pond

During our five-year investment period, Arcaplanet’s revenues and EBITDA grew from €150m to €400m, and €20m to €75m, respectively. Other key milestones include:

  • Expansion of physical network from approximately 150 to 400 stores;
  • Online sales growth of 10x;
  • Own brand products grew as a proportion of revenues from 10% to c.50%, with significant increases in customer loyalty;
  • Successful marketing strategy resulted in best-in-class brand awareness in the industry, at more than 90%.

By the time the investment was realised – in a sale to a financial and trade consortium in 2021 – the company was present in 17 regions across Italy, serving more than 1.3 million loyal customers through 400 stores and a state-of-the-art online platform.

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