Swander Pace Capital has agreed to sell Merrick Pet Care, a maker of natural and organic pet food, to Nestlé Purina PetCare. Other selling shareholders include founder Garth Merrick, Monitor Clipper Partners, and Highland Consumer Partners.
Swander Pace acquired Merrick Pet Care in December 2010. During Swander’s term of ownership, Merrick has grown into a flagship brand in the natural and organic pet food category, with three leading brands – Merrick, Castor & Pollux and Whole Earth Farms. Merrick sells its products through specialty pet, natural grocery, and mass channels. Merrick was founded in 1988 and has approximately 350 employees. The company is headquartered in Amarillo, TX (www.merrickpetcare.com).
“Merrick has grown significantly in the past five years, and I’m pleased to see the company join the Nestlé Purina family,” said Corby Reese, Managing Director for Swander Pace Capital and Chairman at Merrick. “CEO Greg Shearson and the leadership team have worked tirelessly to make Merrick a true leader in the natural and organic pet food category, and this sale marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the company.”
Swander Pace Capital invests in middle-market consumer products companies including branded and non-branded manufacturers, marketers, and distributors that sell through a range of retail and institutional channels. The firm generally targets companies that have up to $400 million in revenues. SPC has raised over $1.3 billion of equity capital through five private equity funds and has led investments in more than 40 consumer products companies. Swander Pace was founded in 1996 and has offices in San Francisco; Bedminster, NJ; and near Toronto in Oakville, ON (www.spcap.com).
“We take pride in working with family-owned entrepreneurial businesses, and our relationship with Garth Merrick has been tremendous,” said Andrew Richards, Managing Director at Swander Pace. “For the past five years, Swander Pace has partnered with Garth to grow Merrick into the well-known, respected brand it is today, and we wish him and the rest of the Merrick team all the best on the road ahead.”
Credit Suisse served as financial advisor to Merrick Pet Care and Swander Pace Capital.
© 2015 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 7-23-15