Pet Express has agreed to a $400-million cash infusion from the Chinese company that it plans to take over as the company’s global brand and expand its international footprint.
Pet Express is one of the fastest-growing brands in the world, with revenues of more than $3.3 billion last year.
It said Tuesday it had secured a $300-million financing round led by Chinese equity firm Jia Jiang Properties, which is led by the Chinese billionaire Zhang Baofeng, whose company is in the midst of a restructuring.
Zhang Baofen is one the biggest shareholders in Pet Express, according to his company’s website.
He said the company would use the cash infusion to strengthen its international operations and improve its brands and operations in China, Latin America and Europe.
PetExpress is one that is seen as a big step forward for the Chinese economy, with China expected to overtake the United States as the world’s biggest pet market by 2020, and with China becoming a key investor in the pet food industry.
The company had previously announced a $150-million investment in an animal rescue centre in Australia in the third quarter of 2016, and in February announced plans to expand into China, Europe and Asia.
The Chinese company said it was also considering expanding into Asia, but it was unclear whether that would be at Pet Express’ existing base in Melbourne.
Petexpress’ brands include Pet-X, Pet-Bite, PetGram, PetTrap, Pet Poodle, PetMama, PetXyro, PetGoGo, PetPuppy, PetWings, PetStick and PetMoo.
It has a presence in India, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
Its parent company, China Animal and Veterinary Medical Supplies Corp., is based in Shanghai and was acquired by China-based pet food giant Cargill in December 2016 for $12.5 billion.
The investment comes after Pet Express raised $6.5 million in a Series A round last year, led by Sequoia Capital and the China Investment Corporation.