JP Weber, our M&A Worldwide polish member, had the pleasure to support Esthima Polska, a member of French group Veternity, the owner of a network of companion animal crematoria and a pioneer on the local pet and horse cremation market, in the purchase of Kerberos, the oldest crematorium in Prague.
The transaction is a part of the French group’s plan to accelerate its development in Poland, Czech Republic and neighbouring countries in order to create a strong and coherent Eastern European Zone. JP Weber is the exclusive M&A Partner of Esthima Polska in its construction.
Philippe Thomas, president of Veternity is delighted “Veternity’s purchase of the Kerberos crematorium in Prague is a very important step in the group’s development in Europe. The Czech market, being mature, is a valuable asset for the company – both in terms of activity and know-how in the pet funeral industry. Our expansion, after 26 years of technical and methodological development in France, is part of a desire to offer families a reliable norm and economically accessible solutions at a particularly painful time when respect must prevail. The place of pets has evolved in our Western homes, they are members of the family and their death deserves a response that echoes the life spent together. It is this response that we have been developing with our veterinary DNA since our creation and that we want to continue to promote in Europe and North America. The acquisition of Kerberos Pet Crematory is a case in point.”
Anna Winter, Director of Esthima Poland, Head of Development for Eastern Europe, adds: “The creation of the Eastern Europe zone within the Veternity group will facilitate synergy between the Czech and Polish markets, which we hope will increase the knowledge and thus the development of pet cremation services also in Poland. This strong presence of the Veternity group will facilitate the exchange of commercial and human experiences between our entities and will allow better communication to the general public about the existence of our services, namely the possibility of a last farewell thanks to a dignified, respectful and complete funeral, as pet owners would hope.”
Vit Volhejn, the founder of Kerberos Pet Crematorium with his sons Jan and Petr, said: “It will be an acquisition of a family company that has an empathetic approach to customers with a foreign veterinary company that will provide capital for the company’s development.”
Piotr Kucharczyk, M&A Director at JP Weber, who together with Anna Lewicka, Business Analyst at JP Weber, successfully conducted the project said: “We are glad that we could work on such an interesting and at the same time niche project. According to analyses, the industry is currently experiencing a renaissance thanks to the growing public awareness of the possibility and obligation of companion animal cremation. Despite the relatively low number of players in this market in Central Eastern Europe, we managed to find not only a promising acquisition target but also a family company with a long history, located in one of the most important agglomerations in the region – Prague.”
JP Weber was responsible for the successful execution of the entire Kerberos acquisition process – from the creation of a strategic structure and identification of potential acquisition targets, through proper supervision of the process, valuation and negotiations, to support in the preparation of full transaction documentation and finalization of the purchase.
About JP Weber
JP Weber is an independent consulting company that has been comprehensively supporting decision-makers and business owners in their transactions and daily business, financial, legal and tax challenges for almost 20 years now.
Esthima Polska belongs to the French group Veternity. The company offers the services of a dignified and respectful pet cremation. The services are aimed at both veterinarians and pet owners. The cremation service applies to companion animals, i.e. dogs, cats, rodents, amphibians, reptiles and birds. Esthima offers three variants of cremation – individual combined with a farewell ceremony, separate and collective. With the first two, it is possible to recover the pet’s ashes. Esthima Cremation Center in Ruda Śląska (opened in 2019) was an investment from scratch. It was the first of the planned investments, located in Silesia due to the high population density. In October 2020, Esthima opened a new Agency in Warsaw – serving the residents of the capital city Warsaw and the surrounding area.
A pioneer on the French market for the cremation of pets for the past 26 years and horses for the past 10 years, whose identity is built on strong ethical values and a unique veterinary partnership, Veternity is the undisputed leader of the French market with more than 95% market share on BtoBtoC channels, a network of 14 crematoriums covering the national territory and strong profitability in its core business for a consolidated turnover for the fiscal year 2019-2020 of € 44,800,000. Veternity is present in Europe and North America where the group is strengthening its positions and increasing acquisitions to impose an ethical approach and innovative techniques that respect the environment.
About the Kerberos Pet Crematorium
Created in 2013, the company is present on 3 sites: a crematorium in Zapy near Prague as well as two agencies in Prague and Milevsko. With six employees, the company’s activity is divided equally between the sale of online services directly to owners and a dedicated activity for veterinarians.
The company offers individual cremation services as well as keepsakes and memorials. Following its takeover by Veternity group, a project to expand the facilities and install a new oven are planned.