Aliph Capital, a GCC centric private equity firm, says its maiden fund, Aliph Fund I (LP), has closed its first transaction; a 100% buyout of the UAE’s largest omnichannel pet business, The Pet Shop (TPS). TPS comprises The PetShop, and Petsville.

The business operates retail stores, the leading regional pet products ecommerce site and pet services including boarding, daycare, training, relocation and grooming.

In addition to the buyout, Aliph Capital is injecting significant growth capital into TPS to expand its presence across the UAE and the region and consolidate its leading position in the pet space, with TPS expected to enter other fragmented GCC markets including KSA and Qatar.

Business development

As part of the takeover, Amr Hazem – the founder of Petsville – will assume the position of Chief Executive Officer of TPS, to lead business development and expansion.

The transaction is in line with Aliph Capital’s strategy of investing in high quality midsized GCC companies and accelerating their operational and digital transformation expansion plans.

Farah Al Mazrui, Head of Investments at Aliph Capital, said: “This is a perfect example of our strategy of taking active positions in midmarket growth stars. The Pet Shop is a proven leader in a market ripe for consolidation, growth and further tech enablement, and we look forward to assisting the company in its ambitious expansion plans.”

Growth potential

Hazem commented: “I see tremendous growth potential in the business and look forward to working closely with Aliph Capital to achieve it.”

The $361 million (2020) UAE pet care market is the largest market in the GCC, and is forecast to experience strong future growth, with an anticipated CAGR of 9-11%, driven by growth in pet ownership; a young population with a growing expat component; changing local mindsets towards pet ownership and consumers waiting longer to start families. The wider GCC pet market is largely unpenetrated and highly fragmented making the region ripe for investment and consolidation.

Founded in 2011, TPS is the UAE’s one stop shop for pet owners offering a wide range of products and services, including daycare, boarding, grooming, and aquatics maintenance. TPS benefits from multiple customer touch points across its retail, e-commerce, and services channels.

Kasamar Holdings

TPS was acquired from Kasamar Holdings - a single family office investing in regional private equity, global real estate and public securities with long-term value creation and growth.

Mo Bissiso, Director at Kasamar Holdings, said: “We believe the industry has tremendous potential for continued growth and are delighted to pass the baton to Aliph to continue the expansion in the region."

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