Arbor Hungry for Private Label Petfood

Arbor Investments has agreed to acquire Mars Petcare’s US-based private label pet food products business (Exclusive Brands or EB).

The agreement includes the division of Mars Petcare that produces private label pet food products for a variety of US customers through five manufacturing plants located in South Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma (2) and California.

“As investors in growth and innovation, we are thrilled to have been selected by Mars to partner with CEO Chris Hamilton and his team to lead EB into an exciting future,” said Arbor Partner Chris Harned. “With an efficient and nationwide factory network, a loyal and experienced group of employees and a high-quality customer base, we look forward to playing an active role in the growing pet industry.”

Arbor invests in the food, beverage and related industries. Typical targets will have annual revenues of up to $300 million and EBITDA from $5 million to $50 million. Since founding in 1999 the firm has acquired or invested in over 55 food and beverage companies in North America. In July 2016, Arbor closed its fourth equity fund, Arbor Investments IV LP, with $765 million of capital and its first subordinated debt fund, Arbor Debt Opportunities Fund I LP, with $125 million of capital. Arbor is based in Chicago (www.arborpic.com).

“Pet has been a priority for us,” said Arbor Senior Operating Partner Tim Fallon. “As we look to leverage Chris Harned’s successful prior investments in Meow Mix and Freshpet, EB provides us with a proven platform for both internal and acquisition-driven growth opportunities.”

“Exiting the private label business in the US allows Mars Petcare to focus on growing its branded portfolio, including iconic favorites such as PEDIGREE, IAMS, GREENIES, and others,” said Mark Johnson, regional president, Mars Petcare North America. “The private label business has played an important role for us over the past 12 years driving scale and growth. As our focus has evolved, this sale gives Arbor the opportunity to further develop this business in the vibrant petcare category.”

Mars Petcare is owned by Mars, Inc. which has been family-owned since 1911 and is the sixth largest privately held company in the United States. The business is comprised of more than 50 brands and provides nutrition and health services – it has the largest veterinary operations in North America – for dogs, cats, horses, fish and birds. Click HERE for the Mars Petcare website.

BofA Merrill Lynch is the financial advisor to Mars on this transaction.

© 2018 Private Equity Professional | September 14, 2018

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