SKIPTON-based natural dog treats business, Hollings Ltd, has been acquired by Assisi Pet Care Ltd as it pursues its goal of entering the pet care market in the UK and Europe.

Founded in 1980 by Jeff and Celia Hollings, the business has its head office, warehousing and distribution operations on Snaygill Industrial Estate, as well as a purpose-built manufacturing facility in Worksop that produces a wide range of bones and treats.

The company has a diverse customer base, from supplying independent pet shops to leading retailers and wholesalers.

The firm’s acquisition by Assisi Pet Care is being led by Assisi chief executive Peter Mangion, along with all 50 Hollings’ employees including Emma Hollings who remains head of sales.

Assisi is a new company which will be based at the Skipton. It has been set up by Peter to create a meaningful presence in the pet care category in Europe, with the acquisition of Hollings forming the first strategic step in Assisi’s expansion. Institutional capital sponsorship to support Mr Mangion was provided by Harwood Private Equity.

Mr Mangion said: “Over the last 40 years, the Hollings family have worked hard to build the business and it is a real credit to them that they have created one of the best-known brands of natural dog treats in the UK. We welcome their 50-strong team to Assisi and look forward to working with them to take Hollings’ products to a wider audience throughout the UK and into Europe.

“There’s no doubt that both the strong growth in the pet care sector and the general demand from consumers for natural products in every part of their lives, opens up some exciting opportunities.”

The business deal was completed on October 1.

Kaira Clarehugh of legal advisers, Clarion, added: “The combination of Peter’s extensive experience building successful businesses within the FMCG arena, together with Hollings’ market-leading brand is a great combination.

“We wish it every success with its continued expansion.”