Private equity acquires a New Zealand-based pet food producer | Instant News

CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND – KKR, a global investment company, has acquired Natural Pet Food Group, a premium pet food producer based in New Zealand.

KKR will support international growth for the Natural Pet Food Group, whose mission is to provide safe pet food with a sustainable source of animal protein.

“My team is excited about the opportunities and connections KKR can provide,” said Neil Hinton, CEO of Natural Pet Food Group. “Our business is about providing pet owners with natural nutrition and the best high meat level for their four-legged family members. KKR has a perfect pedigree in our sector that will help us grow, develop new products and bring our brand to new customers and new markets, all over the world.

Natural Pet Food Group produces three brands of wet and dry food and treats: K9 Natural, Feline Natural, and Meat Mates. All products are grain, gluten and GMO free, formulated by the company’s in-house nutrition team.

The company obtains 100% of its raw materials and manufactures its products locally in New Zealand. The proteins featured in the Natural Pet Food Group formula include grass-fed and free-range meat, cageless chicken, and sustainable seafood.

“This is a tremendous result not only for our company but also for our supply partners, farmers and seafood suppliers from all over New Zealand and our manufacturing partners in Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne,” continued Hinton. “… KKR’s investment marks the next phase of our evolution and their support is a strong support to our business prospects.”

Hinton also paid tribute to Natural Pet Food Group shareholders, with a special mention of Pioneer Capital, for supporting the company since its inception in 2006.

“Natural Pet Food Group is a pioneer in the sustainable pet food industry in New Zealand, with a mission and a very defined set of values,” added Michael Robson, managing director of KKR Capstone. “We are excited to work with Neil and his talented team to support the company’s operations by leveraging KKR’s experience, network and expertise to strengthen Natural Pet Food Group’s leadership in key markets and create opportunities in new ones.

“This investment also reflects KKR’s commitment to support fast-growing companies in New Zealand that are looking for opportunities to expand into new sectors, verticals and markets,” said Robson.

Robson has joined Natural Pet Food Group’s board of directors following the acquisition.

The acquisition and subsequent investment in Natural Pet Food Group will be funded by KKR Asian Fund IV, a division of KKR. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Natural Pet Food Group currently distributes products in New Zealand, Australia, China, Japan, United States and Canada.

Read more on corporate strategy, financial performance, mergers and acquisitions on our Business page.


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KKR Purchases New Zealand Premium Pet Food Business | Instant News

WELLINGTON, New Zealand – KKR & Co. has purchased New Zealand’s premium pet food company, Natural Pet Food Group, and will support its international expansion as affluent pet owners increasingly seek “high-quality, low-carb” food for their diets. animal.

The acquisition, whose financial terms were not disclosed, was funded by KKR Asian Fund IV, the global investment firm said on Monday.



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New Zealand Rugby is getting closer and closer to selling shares to Silver Lake | Instant News

Stakeholders in New Zealand Rugby, the island’s Pacific island game governing body, have voted unanimously to sell a 12.5% ​​stake in its commercial rights to US private equity firm Silver Lake.

The vote in favor of the NZ $ 387 million investment came despite opposition from the New Zealand Rugby Players Association, including players on the country’s most famous team, the All Blacks.

Players have expressed concern that the game could become too commercialized if the proposed private equity investment was made: the fear other sports players also came up with a voice in the last few months.

Without player association ratification, the deal could be canceled. In a statement, the NZR said it would continue talks over the coming weeks with the NZR in an effort to find a solution.

According to New Zealand Rugby, the deal will bring important investment to grassroots rugby and technology and help to keep New Zealand players from moving to clubs in Europe and Japan.

Silver Lake’s stock portfolio in clubs and sporting events includes the mixed martial arts Ultimate Fighting Championship and Manchester City football club in the English Premier League.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Mark Latham


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Convertible lending and private equity: growth opportunities in Germany | Instant News

Classic convertible loans, a popular financing instrument in the venture capital sector, can also be an investment option for private equity investors at a time when attractive equity investments in Germany are very competitive. In particular, in the context of growth investment, which is often akin to venture capital conditions, convertible loans may be a better alternative when further capitalization is sought alongside the main investor (private equity).

From a venture capital perspective, convertible loans are very flexible financing instruments that are often available on short notice and can usually be completed without much effort. Convertible loans can be characterized by a loan component and a conversion component and are usually found in the early stages of the company’s existence, when the parties were still difficult to evaluate their inception.

However, convertible loans are increasingly being used by private equity investors to develop growing investment opportunities. The terms and conditions of the convertible loan must then be adjusted accordingly. This provides different scenarios for investors to consider, such as a leading private equity investor looking for additional investors. In this case, the lead investor will have a concrete idea of ​​their investment that will allow them to let other, more prudent private equity investors make more senior investments for them, allowing for predictable and attractive returns based on a fixed interest rate, plus options. equity investment later. This is even more so if private equity investors replace corporate debt financing, that is often an alternative route to get further funding.

Another example might be a situation where a private equity investor wants to postpone an equity investment decision while also being willing to invest in a more senior instrument with subsequent options for conversion to equity at an attractive conversion rate (via a predetermined internal rate of return).

German banking supervisory regulations, for credit transaction licenses, must be observed for any convertible loan, regardless of whether the loan is provided by venture capitalists or private equity investors. Although convertible bonds do not require such a license, parties often find this alternative too expensive and inflexible.

Such regulatory permit requirements can be avoided if investors have control over the company from a corporate perspective. Such control can be based, for example, on voting agreements or on transfers of share securities. In the latter process, the borrower’s shares would become collateral for the lender and would be sufficient to meet regulatory control requirements, as opposed to a single share pledge, which would only provide collateral but no control.

Security transfer
Of course, such control is not often desired by the parties, but there may be situations where shareholders believe in the growth of their business and are therefore willing to accept the transfer of such guarantees to enable the company’s next step in growth.

With regards to adaptation of convertible loans, private equity investors want to retain as much freedom as possible. In addition, investors will expect to be able to convert at any time, to exclude discontinuation by the company and, even in the event of a major investor’s exit, to be paid or still allowed to convert. Unlike in the case of venture capital, the company’s conversion or valuation is not based on the next round of financing (including potential discount or valuation limits) but on the pre-agreed internal rate of return of the primary investor’s equity investment or, alternatively, the pre-approved internal rate of return of instruments that can be converted in case of conversion.

In addition, private equity investors will request certain veto rights that can be supported by small equity participation, allowing appropriate minority protection rights in shareholder meetings for investors. Finally, especially in the case of foreign private equity investors, a common “gross tax” on financing can be included in the documentation.

Interest in the growth sector in Germany is growing and will continue to grow. Private equity investors are increasingly investing in the growth sector in part because of high competition for mature companies and attractive business models. Convertible instruments are a good vehicle for investing in this area which is characterized by a higher risk of reducing structural exposure.

Foot on the door
Throughout 2021, we expect private equity investors to use the convertible loan situation as an additional option to enter attractive target company doors even if the current situation / valuation does not (yet) allow direct equity investment.

From a corporate perspective, we feel this arrangement could also be a good option for avoiding debt financing by banks at an early stage, which usually provides for a stricter regime in terms of agreements.

Dr. Nikolaus von Jacobs is a partner and Matthias Weingut is a partner focused on private equity as well as mergers and acquisitions at law firm McDermott Will & Emery in Munich.


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US Southwest says leisure travel rebounds as summer season approaches | Instant News

This week, major airlines reiterated their confidence that the travel market, at least for leisure, is rebounding from heavy losses suffered during the coronavirus pandemic. They hope the trend continues through the summer vacation season. Airlines executives said Thursday that travel demand reached an inflection point in February or March, after languishing for most of last year. Airports were busy with travelers during spring break and future vacation bookings began to increase. Airlines including Southwest and American are recalling pilots and flight attendants who had not been needed for months as they prepared for what could be a busy summer, carrying people on vacations and tours to friends and relatives whom they had to postpone for months. American said it plans to hire 300 more pilots at the end of this year. “While the pandemic is not over, we believe the worst is behind us, in terms of the severity of the negative impact on travel demand,” said Southwest Managing Director Gary Kelly. American Airlines on Thursday reported a quarterly loss of $ 1.25 billion, a smaller loss than in previous quarters of the past year. Photo: Douglas R. Clifford / Zuma Press Southwest said he expects by June his operation will stop losing more cash than it brings in. The airline’s first-quarter profits were increased by $ 1.2 billion in federal assistance covering salaries and benefits during the quarter. . Taking this and other one-off items into account, Southwest reported a loss of $ 1 billion. Airlines have already seen their hopes for a rebound in travel dashed. Whenever it seemed like Covid-19 cases had stabilized and demand started to rise in the past year, another surge has wiped out the lukewarm surge in demand. Even as the number of cases has started to climb again, airline executives are hoping the widespread vaccination will mean increases in passenger bookings will stay this time around. Airlines executives have said they don’t expect business travel to pick up in earnest until at least later this year, when more companies are expected to bring their employees back to their offices. U.S. executives told analysts and investors on Thursday that there were signs of growing demand, especially from small businesses, while some large corporate clients said they plan to resume travel in the third quarter. . WSJ Headquarters Columnist Scott McCartney is compiling the data for which airlines performed best and worst in 2020 on things like on-time arrivals, complaints and flight cancellations. Photo: Getty Images The recovery trajectory has lit a gap between airlines that rely heavily on business travel and international markets, like American, United Airlines Holdings Inc. and Delta Air Lines Inc., and those that still have been geared more towards leisure travelers. The southwest’s largely domestic network has helped insulate it from the effects of border closures and government travel restrictions that have increased international traffic. The airline has embarked on an aggressive expansion program that includes adding 17 new cities to its network and plans to return to normal flight levels in the coming months. Its flight capacity was down nearly 40% in the first quarter from 2019 levels, but by June, the airline plans to complete 96% of its pre-pandemic schedule. SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS At this point in the pandemic, do you feel comfortable traveling by plane? Why or why not? Join the conversation below. American is also forecasting a sharp increase in flights this summer, adding dozens of new domestic routes and anticipating an overall flight capacity of 75% to 80% of pre-pandemic levels. “As our world advances daily in COVID-19 vaccination efforts, customers are returning to travel and there is no doubt that the pace of the recovery is picking up,” Doug Parker and CEO Robert Isom wrote Thursday. and US President. United, which earlier this week said it lost $ 1.4 billion in the first quarter, said it needed commercial and international traffic to return to 65% of pre-pandemic levels to turn a profit. Both segments are down about 80% now, as many international borders are closed and many companies are still keeping workers at home at least later this year. While United is also resuming recruiting of pilots and adding more flights to capture more of the domestic leisure demand, CEO Scott Kirby said the airline would take a slightly more conservative approach than its rivals this summer. Bet on Travel Recovery “It’s really hard for me to make the math work and say that 90% or 100% of the schedule is the optimal answer,” Kirby said this week. Discounter Spirit Airlines Inc., which primarily serves vacationers, said Thursday it plans to fly almost as much in the second quarter as it did before the pandemic, operating 94.5% of its capacity in 2019. Its financial outlook is also improving , with expectations that the airline’s adjusted pre-tax and interest margins could break even. Southwest’s adjusted net loss of $ 1.72 per share was narrower than the $ 1.85 per share analysts expected. Including one-time items, American’s net loss was $ 4.32 per share. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected an adjusted loss of $ 4.30 per share. Write to Alison Sider at [email protected] Copyright © 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8.

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