AUA Enter Pet Products Sector

AUA Private Equity has acquired the Rhode Island Textile Company, dba Westminster Pet Products, a developer and marketer of pet treats, chews, and supplies.

Westminster’s private label and branded products, sold under the RUFFIN’ IT brand – include treats, chews, training pads, grooming tools, toys, collars, leashes, and other accessories.

Westminster is headquartered near Providence in Cumberland, Rhode Island and operates a 240,000 square foot facility.

The buy of Westminster is AUA’s first platform investment in the pet industry which, according to AUA, is supported by strong industry tailwinds and increased consumer spending on pets.

“The pet industry has proven to be resilient throughout market cycles and also benefits from positive macro-economic trends including increased pet adoptions and spending by consumers,” said Andy Unanue, managing partner of AUA. “Westminster is well-positioned to continue to benefit from these positive trends and we are tremendously excited about our investment in Westminster and our partnership with its management team.”

The AUA transaction team was led by Partner David Benyaminy, Vice President Ari David, Associate Greg Conway, Senior Analyst Gregory Guggenheim, and Summer Intern Kurt Van Mol.

AUA will grow and create value at Westminster Pet through new product development, increased channel penetration, and future add-on acquisitions.

“We welcome Westminster and it’s management and employees as the newest addition to our portfolio,” said Mr. Benyaminy. “Westminster’s product offering is well positioned to further capitalize on its growing end markets including the attractive pet treats, chews, and supplies categories. We see numerous opportunities to drive continued growth and our strategic acquisition will support the company’s long-term success and commitment to its customers, consumers, and pets nationwide.”

New York City-based AUA Private Equity makes equity investments from $20 million to $75 million in companies with at least $5 million of EBITDA. Sectors of interest include consumer products and services with a focus on family-owned businesses and companies benefiting from the growth of the US Hispanic population.

The Rhode Island Textile Company, the seller of Westminster Pet Products, was founded in 1913 by the Elliott family and is today led by CEO Glendon Elliott. In November 2018, the company sold its South Carolina Elastics division, a manufacturer of braided, knitted, and woven narrow fabrics used for shoelaces, bungee cords, elastic masks, and military webbings, to South Carolina-based Phenix Engineered Textiles, a portfolio company of Industrial Value Partners.

Private Equity Professional | September 10, 2020

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