Bregal Partners has acquired TDBBS, a provider of natural pet chews and other treats sold under the Best Bully Sticks, Barkworthies, and Paw Luxury brand names.
TDBBS products include bully sticks, antlers, jerkies, and yak cheese chews. The company sells its products online (both direct-to-consumer and through third-party platforms), through pet specialty retailers, and through select mass/club retailers. TDBBS – which stands for Top Dog Best Bully Sticks – was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Richmond, VA (www.tdbbsllc.com) (www.bestbullysticks.com).In recent years, growth in the US market for pet treats has outpaced the more mature pet food and supplies markets. Within pet treats, the natural and “occupational” chews category has been a key contributor to this growth as pet owners continue to view their dogs as members of the family and are seeking out high-quality products to keep their dogs busy, happy, and healthy.
Items such as bully sticks, antlers, and other natural chews – many of which are single ingredient, high in protein, highly digestible, and offer dental benefits – provide pet owners with alternatives to rawhide, synthetic treats, and more traditional baked items that may contain artificial preservatives or long lists of ingredients with uncertain benefits.
“We see a clear path for TDBBS to leverage its portfolio of high-quality products to take advantage of tailwinds surrounding the growing natural treats and chews category,” said Charles Yoon, a Managing Partner at Bregal. “As consumers increasingly demand higher quality, limited ingredient products for their pets, there is a notable opportunity to build greater awareness of the benefits of natural chews and drive new product innovation. We intend to continue investing behind our impressive team and infrastructure as we transform the natural chews category.”
Mr. Yoon has indicated that Bregal has targeted the pet industry as an area of focus over the past two years, given positive industry trends and the team’s prior investment experience in the space. The firm was previously an investor in Merrick Pet Care, a vertically-integrated manufacturer and marketer of super premium pet food and treats, which was sold to Swander Pace in December 2010. Nestlé Purina PetCare acquired Merrick in July 2015.
Bregal’s investment in TDBBS was made in partnership with Avrum Elmakis, the company’s founder, and other members of the senior management team, who remain significant shareholders in the business. In addition, with the closing of this transaction, Bregal has named Tim Hassett as the company’s new chief executive officer.
Mr. Hassett joins the company from Beam Suntory, one of the largest producers of distilled beverages worldwide, where he was President – Americas. He previously spent 10 years at Campbell Soup as Chief Customer Officer for its North America business, and also served at Kellogg’s and Procter & Gamble. “I am very excited for the opportunity to drive value creation at an organization as dynamic as TDBBS,” said Mr. Hassett. “The company has enormous potential, and I look forward to working closely with Bregal Partners and the management team in further growing the business.”
“We are thrilled Tim has joined the TDBBS team and are confident he is the right leader for the business. He is a world-class consumer-focused executive who has proven his ability to execute his vision and strategy while continuously inspiring those around him,” said Mr. Yoon.
Bregal Partners invests from $25 million to $90 million of equity in companies operating in the branded consumer products, health and wellness, food and beverage, specialty retail, energy services, and healthcare sectors. Target investments typically have from $15 million to $75 million of EBITDA. The firm has $600 million of committed capital funded by a sixth-generation family foundation. Bregal Partners is based in New York (www.bregalpartners.com).
BMO Sponsor Finance provided debt financing for this transaction and Harris Williams & Co. was the financial advisor to TDBBS.
© 2018 Private Equity Professional | January 24, 2018