Andy Bond and Joe Wykes at Jollyes

New chairman Andy Bond (l) and Jollyes CEO Joe Wykes

Asda’s PE backer TDR Capital has taken control of fast-growing petcare retail chain Jollyes, bringing in Andy Bond as chairman.

Jollyes is planning to use the undisclosed but “significant” investment to accelerate its UK store growth plans and, in a challenge to market leader Pets at Home, drive down prices for pet owners.

On completion of the deal, TDR will take a majority stake in Jollyes, with Bond and the management team also holding a stake in the business.

Jollyes started trading from a single store in Enfield in 1971 and today runs 99 sites – with its 100th and 101st shops to open next month. The retailer has grown its estate by 50% in three years, with plans to open an additional 12 stores over the next 12 months.

TDR’s investment will also allow the chain to accelerate the rollout of grooming and veterinary-led community pet clinics for customers.

Jollyes CEO Joe Wykes said: “Jollyes has been growing at pace over the past two years, with our people providing pet parents a level of expertise and service that is hard to find. This new investment will help us build a much bigger stage, accelerating our growth plans and giving us the resources we need to bring more value to more places.

“We look forward to partnering with TDR on the exciting next phase of our growth in the UK.”

He added that Bond’s retail credentials – which include Poundland owner Pepco Group, where he is executive chairman, and Asda, where he was CEO – and knowledge of the value sector made him “an ideal chairman” for Jollyes.

TDR managing partner Gary Lindsay said: “In Jollyes, we identified a solid business with excellent foundations and significant potential to grow even more ambitiously in the years to come.

“Through our investment, we will deploy our significant retail expertise and support the company in rolling out its store expansion plans even more rapidly, including opening more grooming and veterinary-led community pet clinics.

“We are confident that Jollyes can further cement itself in the pet retail sector and increase the competitiveness of the market, which will benefit customers, colleagues and suppliers alike.”

Jollyes was previously backed by PE firm Kester Capital following a management buyout in 2018. Under Kester, the business doubled the size of the workforce to more than 1,200 staff, doubled revenues and more than doubled profitability.

Sales in the year ended 28 May 2023 jumped 33.5% to £114.3m, with like-for-like growth of 16.9%, according to the most recent accounts at Companies House.

“I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved with Jollyes,” added Kester managing partner Adam Maidment. “It’s a great success story and exactly the kind of value creation story Kester is about.”

TDR Capital was advised by HSBC, Barclays, PwC and CMS, with Kester Capital advised by Houlihan Lokey, PwC and Osborne Clarke, while management was advised by Jamieson, Blick Rothenberg and Osborne Clarke.