Carlyle Back Again at Manna Pro

The Carlyle Group has acquired a majority stake in Manna Pro Products from Morgan Stanley Capital Partners.

Manna Pro is a manufacturer and marketer of specialty pet care products including food, treats, and other health and wellness products for dogs, cats, horses, chickens, goats, and other companion pets. Manna Pro is led by CEO John Howe and is headquartered near St. Louis in Chesterfield, Missouri.

This is the second time that Carlyle has invested in Manna Pro. In January 2015, Broad Sky Partners acquired Manna Pro with backing from Cerberus Business Finance then, in October 2015, Carlyle acquired the private equity portfolio of Broad Sky including its investment in Manna Pro. In December 2017, Carlyle sold Manna Pro to Morgan Stanley Capital Partners.

“We are pleased to be working again with the team at Carlyle as we build on the substantial growth we’ve experienced in partnership with MSCP,” said Mr. Howe. “Our business has evolved significantly over the past three years with the expansion of our high-quality product offering, increased investment in brand building, improved operations, and intense focus on growth and sustainability. With increasing demand for products that help pet parents care for and nurture their pets, we appreciate MSCP’s support in achieving our leadership position and look forward to working with Carlyle again as we continue our mission.”

Equity for Carlyle’s buy of Manna Pro will come from Carlyle Partners VII LP, an $18.5 billion fund that closed in July 2018.

“We’re excited to partner again with John Howe and the talented Manna Pro management team, as we have known many of the key business leaders for more than six years,” said David Basto, a managing director at Carlyle. “Our prior partnership with Manna Pro was a great success, and the business’ momentum has only continued. Strong recent organic growth and the relative fragmentation in the categories in which the company plays give us a high degree of confidence in the opportunities ahead for Manna Pro.”

The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) invests worldwide in buyouts, growth capital, real estate, and leveraged finance. The firm, with $230 billion of assets under management, has more than 1,800 employees in 30 offices across six continents and is based in Washington DC.

“We are grateful to have partnered with the extraordinary management team at Manna Pro during a period of tremendous growth as they advanced their position as a leading provider of pet health and nutrition,” said Aaron Sack, the head of Morgan Stanley Capital Partners. “During MSCP’s ownership, Manna Pro built on its long history with strong organic growth and benefited from several critical companion pet acquisitions, including Fruitables, Hero Pet and most recently Doggie Dailies, that expanded Manna Pro’s online presence and created opportunities to reshape the supply chain and operations.”

Morgan Stanley Capital Partners is the middle-market focused private equity business of Morgan Stanley Investment Management which in turn is part Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), a financial services firm providing investment banking, securities, wealth management and investment management services.

“Strong execution and enduring category tailwinds are driving exceptional growth for Manna Pro, and we believe there is a meaningful runway for continued expansion, both domestically and internationally,” said Jay Sammons, Carlyle’s head of global consumer, media and retail. “With multiple avenues for future value creation, including growing the core business and increasing the scale of acquisitions, we look forward to supporting the Company’s growth plans with our differentiated global capabilities and resources.”

William Blair & Company was the financial advisor to Manna Pro with co-advisory support from Lincoln International.

© 2020 Private Equity Professional | November 10, 2020

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