Mark and Charlie
Lisa Kelly

Entrepreneur sells on-line retailer Pet Supermarket

Mark Berriman, the local entrepreneur who launched the successful PetSupermarket.Co.Uk (PetSupermarket) brand, has announced that he has sold Viverdi, the company behind the on-line retailer to Medic Animal Limited, another on-line retailer, specialising in pet care, for an undisclosed sum.

South Tyneside based Berriman set up Viverdi, which initially operated Gifts2Drink - an on-line gifts company - in 2003. Following that in 2004, he identified a gap in the market for specialist pet supplies at affordable prices and launched PetSupermarket.

Taking the PetSupermarket business from an annual turnover in its first year of £500,000,Berriman went on to grow the business more than ten-fold last year when he sold the company in October 2011.

Viverdi was sold on a share purchase basis, with Berriman retaining the intellectual property rights for the ‘back-end’ technology along with Gifts2Drink. As part of the agreement he was also required to remain in the business for six months until April of 2012 however, he has also agreed to provide ongoing support with the back end technology.

Speaking about building such a successful business so quickly and with little or no investment through a period of economic downturn, he said:

“For the past 7 years I put my life into launching and developing PetSupermarket however, I have recently had problems outside of work which forced me to take stock of my life, and I decided that the time was right to sell the business.

“ Developing a business on your own can be all consuming and I thought the time was right for a change but I also wanted to sell to a company which I felt shared the same beliefs as me crucially, putting the pet first. There was synergy between my approach to the business and Medic Animal’s ‘care with a conscience’ ethos coupled with their ambitious plans to grow the business so I know the company is in safe hands.“

To this, Ivan Retzignac of MedicAnimal Limited added:

“Mark built a fabulous business with a very strong team. PetSupermarket’s focus on delivering an outstanding and personalised customer service and buying experience fit perfectly with MedicAnimal’s own objectives and we look forward to taking the brand to the next level.”

Looking to the future Berriman has set up another company with business partner Mike Halford, his software developer at Viverdi. He continued:

“Whilst I have no firm plans at the moment Mike and I have teamed up to form a new venture called Gozuku and we are looking at ways of combining our skills, expertise and the experience of developing a successful business, and we are currently looking for the right opportunity. Whilst I will be spending more time with my family it’s fair to say my entrepreneurial spirit won’t be dampened for long.”

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