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A further raft of UK petfood brands are set to come to market by the end of the year as the M&A market begins to thaw in the aftermath of lockdown.

Last week, dogfood supplier Forthglade was snapped up in a £50m sale to European investment firm IK Investment Partners.

The Grocer understands at least three other UK petfood brands are set to follow Forthglade to market in the coming months, including Good Boy treats owner Armitage Pet Care and Harringtons owner Inspired Pet Nutrition.

Rutland Partners, the private equity owners of Armitage, has tasked PwC with exploring sale options for the brand – with an official process set to kick off in the coming months.

Armitage specialises in premium treats through its Good Boy and Meowee brands. It also sells toys and owns ‘sensitive diet’ brand Wafcol.

Meanwhile, IPN has hired mid-cap investment bank Harris Williams and City sources suggest it will also seek to launch a sales process before the end of the year.

Harris Williams is also handling the sale of ECI-owned MPM Products, which makes petfood brands Applaws, Encore and Reveal.

The Grocer revealed in March that the active sales process was paused due to the coronavirus crisis. However, dealmaking sources believe the MPM process is set to be reignited before the year’s end.

Check out the full story on later this morning.

Morning update

The Grocer Price Index for August will be published this morning, showing a further small decline in year-on-year headline supermarket inflation from 0.4% to 0.3%.

This weeks edition of The Grocer also has the latest on bids going in for Asda, Brewdog’s latest fundraising round and more.

Click on later today for full details.

On the markets this morning, the FTSE 100 has edged up less than 0.1% to 6,007pts.

Risers include Stock Spirits Group, up 4.4% to 223.5p, Hotel Chocolat, up 2% to 380p and Nichols, up 1.9% to 1,274p.

Fallers so far include SSP Group, down 2.4% to 230.4p, Marston’s, down 1.8% to 47.9p and McColl’s Retail Group, down 1.6% to 23.5p.

Yesterday in the City

The FTSE 100 ended the day edging down 0.2% to 6,003.3pts.

Morrisons was one of the day’s major fallers, dropping 4.6% to 186p after revealing the costs of coping the coronavirus had dented its first half profits.

Fellow supermarkets Marks & Spencer, down 2.1% to 105.5p, Sainsbury’s, down 2% to 187.9p and Tesco, down 1.6% to 220p also fell on the news.

Other fallers included packaging company DS Smith, down 3.3% to 280.3p, Greencore, down 2.7% to 114.6p, British American Tobacco, down 1.8% to 2,620.5p, Kerry Group, down 1.8% to €115.00 and Pets at Home, down 1.7% to 281.8p.

The day’s risers included Science in Sport, up 6% to 35.6p, Compass Group, up 3.2% to 1,293p, Bakkavor, up 2.8% to 65.9p, McBride, up 2.3% to 63.4p and Domino’s Pizza Group, which rose 1.9% to 353p.