KKR to buy New Zealand animal health firm Argenta for about $100m

Photo: Brooke Cagle / Unsplash

KKR & Co Inc said on Wednesday it will buy a majority stake in animal health firm Argenta Limited, as the pet and animal care industry continues to draw private sector interest.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed but a person familiar with the matter said KKR agreed to pay around $100 million for its Argenta stake.

KKR will acquire its stake in New Zealand-based Argenta from Tomlinson Group, which will become a significant minority shareholder, a statement said.

Founded in 2006, Argenta provides animal-focused contract research and manufacturing for pharmaceutical companies across the United States, Europe and New Zealand.

Argenta plans to use KKR’s investment to expand its research and development as well as its clinical regulatory services in Europe and the United States, Ben Russell, the company’s chief executive officer, said in an interview.

KKR’s investment was made out of its Health Care Strategic Growth Fund, which raised $1.45 billion from investors in 2017.

Private equity interest in the pet and animal care sector has grown due to significant household spending on animal diet, health, and exercise.

KKR currently owns PetVet Care Centers, a Westport, Connecticut-based network of pet clinics. In 2018, the buyout firm sold its remaining stake in Pets at Home Group, a UK-based pet retailer supplier it bought for 955 million pounds in 2010.

Reuters

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.