Graham Sells Pet Food Platform

Graham Partners has sold BrightPet Nutrition Group, a maker of premium and super-premium pet food and treats.

BrightPet specializes in branded and private label pet foods and also provides co-packing services. The company is headquartered 60 miles southeast of Akron in Lisbon, Ohio.

Graham created the BrightPet platform in April 2016 through the acquisition of two contract manufacturing businesses – Ohio Pet Foods and Southern Tier Pet Nutrition – and the brands of Blackwood Pet Food including Blackwood, Adirondack, and Makin’ Trax. In June 2017, the company acquired premium pet food brand, By Nature, and in April 2018 it acquired Phoebe Products including its SO Bright brand of pet food.

BrightPet’s products are sold both domestically and internationally and the company is one of only a few USDA Certified Organic pet food producers in the US.

During its ownership term, Graham led the acquisition of two add-ons, added new products, expanded BrightPet’s management team, formed an advisory council, and streamlined the operations of the business. As a result, BrightPet’s EBITDA grew by 85% during Graham’s hold period, including throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our partnership with Graham has been very rewarding and we are thankful for their support,” said Matt Golladay, CEO of BrightPet. “In particular, Graham’s network of experienced industry professionals, coupled with the firm’s operational rigor, helped position BrightPet for long-term success.”

“We saw a strong core business with numerous avenues for growth fueled by the humanization of pets and had conviction that BrightPet was a great business given its expertise in formulations, key certifications, and relentless focus on quality,” said Joe Heinmiller, a managing principal at Graham Partners. “We are proud to have helped build a leading pet food and treat producer and we wish BrightPet continued success under new ownership.”

Philadelphia-based Graham Partners acquires companies with EBITDA between $5 million and $50 million and will invest in smaller companies as add-on acquisitions to existing portfolio companies. The firm is sponsored by the Graham Group, an industrial and investment concern with interests in plastics, packaging, machinery, building products, and outsourced manufacturing.

Private Equity Professional | September 30, 2020

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