lily's kitchen henrietta morrison

Fast-growing petfood business Lily’s Kitchen has been boosted by a cash injection from US private-equity firm Catterton.

The London-based supplier of natural cat and dogfood - which claims annual retail sales of about £20m - will use the investment to expand its international business and increase brand awareness in the UK. It also intends to improve its operations and IT systems.

While terms have not been disclosed, Lily’s Kitchen founder and chief executive Henrietta Morrison will continue to lead the company, which has been funded organically until now.

Connecticut-based Catterton, which describes itself as the largest and most experienced consumer-focused private equity group in North America, has $4bn of equity capital dedicated to ‘growing middle market companies and emerging, high-growth enterprises’. It is no stranger to the pet sector and currently works with US petfood businesses Ainsworth Pet Nutrition and Nature’s Variety, as well as veterinary hospitals PetVet Care Centers.

Describing the investment as “an important and exciting milestone in our growth and development,” Morrison said Catterton’s experience with high-quality and natural petfoods made it an ideal partner.

Catterton partner Howard Steyn said the firm saw “tremendous opportunity to build on our track record in petfood and consumer products by helping Lily’s Kitchen grow and expand into new domestic and international markets”.

Founded by Morrison in 2008, Lily’s Kithcen products now include dry and wet foods, a granola for dogs and pet snack bars, and the brand is stocked in more than 2,000 supermarkets, pet stores and vets.

Stamford Partners advised Lily’s Kitchen on the deal.