Press release: Worldwise
Alvarez & Marsal Capital Partners (A&M Capital), a middle-market private equity investment fund that is part of the A&M Capital platform, together with A&M Capital Opportunities Fund, an affiliated fund, today announced that it has acquired Worldwise Inc., a leader in the pet industry specializing in pet supplies and pet essentials.
Headquartered in Novato, California, Worldwise is one of the leading platforms in the pet supplies market. Worldwise offers retailers a complete, branded one-stop-shop solution that serves the bulk of their pet supply merchandising needs. Worldwise holds the No. 1 position in both the core cat and pet travel categories, with a meaningful position in dog toys. Through its growing roster of award-winning brands – which include SmartyKat, TrustyPup, Petlinks, goDog, SHERPA, Guaranteed On-Board, PoochPlanet and Pawscout – the company provides high-quality, thoughtful, fun and eco-sustainable products that address both the joys and challenges of pet parenthood across a wide range of categories such as cat toys, pet bedding, dog toys, cat scratchers, and travel accessories. Founded in 1990, the company leverages deep industry experience, strong retailer relationships and significant amounts of consumer data to help create quality products inspired by design, innovation and value.
Current Worldwise CEO Kevin Fick will continue to lead the company following the acquisition. With AMCP’s support, the company will remain focused on developing new, innovative products, expanding its e-commerce capabilities and further leveraging its leading brand positions to scale the business and enter new markets and product categories. The company will also pursue additional acquisition opportunities to grow its platform, reach and product offerings, with a specific focus on toys, chews, cat, travel and other key categories.
“We have been incredibly impressed with the work that Kevin and his team have done to create a leader in pet supplies and essentials, including implementing innovative product development, leveraging consumer data, making impressive strides in sustainable manufacturing, and developing a highly successful, diverse omnichannel distribution model,” said Ryan McCarthy, Partner at AMCP. “While Worldwise will be a separate platform investment for A&M Capital, our team will leverage the deep expertise in the pet industry that we have built up over the past few years through our work with BrightPet to help the Worldwise team advance their strategy and expansion. We expect this space will continue to benefit from the broadening adoption of e-commerce and increased demand for premium, high-quality pet products, and we look forward to helping fuel the Company to take full advantage of the exciting trends in their product categories.”
“We could not be more excited about this acquisition and what it means for our future,” said Fick. “AMCP knows the pet industry well, and with their financial and strategic backing—including the significant resources of A&M’s consulting business — we will have the opportunity to invest in our business, build significantly on our category leadership and accelerate our growth. We are excited to provide pets and pet parents with even more highly innovative, high-quality products across cat and dog accessories, while maintaining our relentless focus on the customer. We’ve worked hard to become a global leader by providing the highest quality products for pets and pet parents and can’t wait to accelerate our strong trajectory into new segments and geographies.”
“We believe that by partnering with AMCP, the Worldwise team will accelerate its ability to expand across its product categories and we are looking forward to exploring a range of exciting opportunities for organic growth as well as bolt-on acquisitions,” said George Kollitides, partner at A&M Capital Opportunities.
“We are grateful to the management team of Worldwise, led by Kevin Fick, for their tremendous diligence and efforts in building the Company into an industry leader,” commented Andrew Heyer, founder and CEO of Mistral Equity Partners, the majority shareholder of the Company.
Kirkland & Ellis provided legal counsel to AMCP. Pryor Cashman acted as legal counsel to Worldwise and DLA Piper to Mistral, William Blair & Company LLC acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Worldwise.