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Gilde acquires Arovit Petfood with management participation


September 19, 2006. Private equity investor Gilde Buy-Out Partners announced today that it has signed an agreement to acquire all the share capital in Arovit Petfood from Portfolio Acquisitions 1 Ltd.

The acquisition has been structured so that upon closing, Gilde will assume the economic interest in Arovit retrospectively to June 13, 2006. The two parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price. The acquisition is expected to close as soon as the approvals by the relevant competition authorities have been obtained. Arovit’s CEO, Ken Koch, will continue as CEO on an interim basis and has also agreed, longer term, to become its non-executive Chairman. The executive management team has invested alongside Gilde and will hold a significant stake in the company.

Arovit will continue to be run as a stand alone entity, providing its customers with the industry’s broadest range of healthy and high quality pet food products.

“I am extremely pleased to announce to our nearly 900 employees, and over 400 valued customers that we have resolved, in the best possible way, Arovit’s ownership and independent future. With Gilde, Arovit has a financially strong and stable partner for the future, with a deep understanding of our industry and an impressive track record of successfully growing private label companies across Europe”, says Ken Koch, CEO of Arovit Petfood.

“When we announced, on April 26, 2006, that the company would be sold, I told our employees that the sale could well prove to be a great opportunity for Arovit – that we would emerge from the process independent, healthy and European focused, with current management having a stake in the business, and a partner committed to our growth and long term success. With Gilde, we have met all of these objectives. And, with the participation of management, we have ensured continuity in business operations, key customer and supplier relationships, and the strategic initiatives developed to continue our strong growth path”.

Paul Bekx, Managing Director and Partner of Gilde, welcomes Arovit into the Gilde organization and says:

“Over the last 5 years private label pet food growth has outperformed the overall pet food market growth by some 3% on average, and yet, today only 18% of the EUR10.2 bio Western European pet food market is supplied by private label. Continued strong growth for private label pet food is anticipated towards 2010, and we are highly excited to provide Arovit with the stable shareholder base and financial support required for management’s objective to develop the business both organically as well as through acquisitions. We are confident that our longer term sector focus on food related industries and experience in other private label companies like 3Mollen (coffee) and PickenPack (fish products) will comfort both Arovit’s clients and employees”.