Merchant banking venture now open for business
Mississauga, ON – October 17, 2016. Dane Creek Capital Corp. (‘DCCC’ or the ‘Company’) today announced it has opened its doors to promising new pet industry companies seeking fresh sources of funding and expert management support. Established by pet industry veterans Mark Warren and Glen Tennison, the new merchant banking venture will also work with provincial governments and related government agencies looking to develop companion animal industries within their jurisdictions. The Company expects to close on up to three investments by end of 2016.
DCCC’s primary focus is on up-and-coming companies serving the companion animal industry that currently generate annual revenue between $1 million and $5 million and need additional financing and management support to expand their operations. The Company will also fund pure start-ups in circumstances where it believes new market opportunities have yet to be fulfilled. In special situations, DCCC may also make investments outside the pet industry where it anticipates the investment will yield significantly higher returns than normal course investments. Overall, the Company expects to have as many as 10 portfolio companies at any one time.
“The pet industry has long been an exciting marketplace for new ideas and financial opportunities,” says Mr. Warren. “I have had the great fortune to experience this firsthand in my own endeavors and through Dane Creek Capital, I look forward to assisting other entrepreneurs take their businesses to new levels.”
DCCC was created by Mr. Warren and Mr. Tennison, who together have over 30 years of business experience in the pet industry. Mr. Warren is the founder and former President & CEO of Pethealth Inc. (‘Pethealth’), which he formed in 1998. Under his leadership, Pethealth became the world’s largest provider of companion animal microchip technology, and a leading provider of pet insurance, cloud-based software, and online pet specialty retail to pet owners, veterinarians, and animal welfare organisations throughout North America and the United Kingdom. Pethealth was acquired by Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited (‘Fairfax’) in November, 2014. Mr. Warren is also a former CEO of Hambros Canada Inc. and former Executive Director of Hambros Bank Limited.
Mr. Tennison was CFO at Pethealth from its creation in 1998 to its sale to Fairfax. He led Pethealth’s many acquisitions including that of Nestlé Purina’s pet insurance business, PurinaCare, the acquisition of Domestic and General Group Limited’s U.K. pet insurance provider, Pet Protect Ltd., and the acquisition of VetMedsDirect.co.uk, an online retailer of pet specialty products. He holds a CPA, CA designation which he earned while working for PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Pet industry spending in the United States hit a record high of $60.28 billion in 2015 and is expected to surpass that in 2016 according to the American Pet Products Association, known for its National Pet Owner’s Survey, the industry’s most comprehensive consumer research study of demographics and buying habits among pet owners. The numbers reflect a growth trend that has lasted over 20 years, including through the recent recessionary period which saw a 5% increase in pet-related spending from 2008 to 2009 despite poor consumer spending overall. Pet food remains the category with the highest spend followed by veterinary care, pet supplies, and the fast-growing pet services category, including novelties like Airbnb-style pet boarding and Uber-style dog walking services.
“Reliable growth in the pet sector makes it the ideal place for new investments and our hands-on experience in a variety of pet industry categories, both B2B and B2C, makes Dane Creek Capital the ideal business partner for developing pet product and service companies,” says Mr. Tennison.
Within the companion animal market, DCCC’s initial focus will be on investment opportunities in pet food and treats derived from novel proteins, fresh food waste, and sustainable sources, alternative models for veterinary care, bio-technology, pet insurance, pet hotels, and technology applications for pet owners.
For more information visit www.danecreekcap.com.