H.I.G. Sells Pro-Pet to Cargill
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H.I.G. Sells Pro-Pet to Cargill

H.I.G. Capital has sold Pro-Pet, a private label maker of pet food, to Cargill.  In December 2010, H.I.G. acquired Pro-Pet from Land O’ Lakes in partnership with the company’s management team. Land O’ Lakes maintained a minority position in the company alongside H.I.G. and senior management.

Pro-Pet is one of the country’s largest manufacturers of private label pet food, serving customers in the grocery, mass retail, dollar, and farm store channels. The company manufactures a full range of dry pet food, from economy to super premium to fresh meat inclusion, in a full range of bag sizes from 2 lbs. to 55 lbs.

Pro-Pet has manufacturing facilities in Ohio, Kansas, and Minnesota for distribution domestically and around the world. The company has more than 150 employees and is headquartered in Kansas City, KS (www.propet.com).

“During the course of our involvement, Pro-Pet has invested significant capital into its facilities and processes to be able to provide its customers with the full range of dry extruded food products. Becoming a part of such a respected, well-capitalized organization like Cargill is a fantastic outcome for the company’s employees, customers, and suppliers, and Pro-Pet’s facilities and knowledge base will provide Cargill with a great platform to grow its business in this category,” said Todd Ofenloch, Managing Director at H.I.G.

“H.I.G. helped us in providing both strategic guidance and capital required to transition to a market leader in super premium pet food manufacturing. The H.I.G. team brought to bear the resources that will allow Pro-Pet to continue to provide the highest level of quality and consistency to its current and future customers,” said Jim Wiegmann, CEO of Pro-Pet.

H.I.G. specializes in providing capital to small and medium-sized companies and invests in management-led buyouts and recapitalizations of manufacturing and service businesses. H.I.G. has more than $24 billion of capital under management. The firm is based in Miami with additional offices in New York, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, London, Hamburg, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Bogotá, Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro (www.higcapital.com).

Cargill’s animal nutrition business has more than 20,000 employees at more than 275 facilities in 40 countries. “Pro-Pet’s commitment to high-quality, safe pet food and passion for the pet food business is the perfect fit for our animal nutrition business, and allows us to better serve our customers seeking a focused supplier for both animal feed and pet food options,” said Pilar Cruz, the President of Cargill Feed and Nutrition.

Pet food is a top-growing category among agriculture retailers and the category continues to evolve with changing consumer preferences. “The pet food category continues to change, as indicated by the increased focus on premium offerings,” said Mark Lueking, the US managing director of Cargill Feed and Nutrition.  “Pro-Pet has the capability to satisfy this market need, and our mutual passion for serving customers make us a strong cultural fit.  We look forward to growing the business together by delivering a range of options to meet customer demand.”

Cargill is an international provider of food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services to the world. The company has 155,000 employees in 70 countries and 2017 revenues exceeded $100 billion. Cargill is headquartered in Minneapolis (www.Cargill.com).

Harris Williams & Co. was the financial advisor to Pro-Pet on this transaction. The Harris Williams’ team was led by Ryan Budlong, John Neuner, Ryan Freeman, Zach England and Richard Furseth.

© 2018 Private Equity Professional | February 20, 2018

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