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Pet Industry Mergers & Acquisitions: The First Half of 2017

Author's Note: This article was last edited on 7/9/17 for correctness. The introduction has been shortened and the acqusition of Solvitby Radio Systems Corporation has been added.

Mergers and acquisitions happen in the pet industry all the time, and everyone from pet product manufacturers to retailers and distributors are involved. In fact, the largest e-commerce acquisition in history has occurred just this year.

With so much going on, it can be hard to keep up with the constant flow of notifications related to these business transactions. Therefore, here’s a roundup of some of the top pet industry mergers and acquisitions in 2017 to date.

Olympus Partners and…

Olympus Partners has recently acquired Petmate Holdings Co. (otherwise known as Petmate), a prominent producer of pet products ranging from dog crates and bedding to bird baths and cat toys.

Alice Tillett, CEO of Petmate, told Pet Business Magazine that they “are happy to partner with Olympus and believe they are ideally positioned to support our next phase of growth and development. We look forward to working with them as we continue to focus on building out the leading pet products company and bringing innovative new ideas and products to our customers.”

What this means for the pet industry: Petmate has been growing rapidly in recent years, and shows no potential for slowing down. Pet product manufacturers in related categories will need to keep a close eye on the lucrative company, especially with its added resources from the acquisition.

Related Article: 4 Things Brick & Mortar Pet Stores Can Learn From Amazon

Central Garden & Pet and…

Central Garden and Pet has acquired K&H Manufacturing, a producer of pet products that’s most known for its selection of heated outdoor products for pets.

George Roeth, president and CEO of Central Garden & Pet told Pet Business Magazine that “Central and K&H have a shared passion for bringing consumers high quality, innovative, value-added products that help pet owners give their pets a more comfortable and caring environment. Together, we can continue to grow the category and develop exciting new products.”

What this means for the pet industry: The added resources on both sides will allow both Central Garden & Pet and K&H Manufacturing to grow their offerings within the pet industry. K&H will likely produce new products under their brand and grow the categories that they currently sell in.

Spectrum Brands and…

Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc. (owner of brands including Nature’s Miracle, Litter Maid, and Furminator, among others) has recently expanded its product offerings within the lucrative dog treat category with the acquisition of PetMatrix, LLC which closed at the end of May 2017.

PetMatrix is the pet product manufacturer of two brands of alternative rawhide treats for dogs: DreamBone and SmartBones. Both are marketed as the “healthy alternative to rawhide,” offering dogs a rawhide-free treat filled with vegetables, chicken, and vitamins & minerals.

Andreas Rouvé, Chief Executive Officer of Spectrum Brands Holdings, told Pet Business Magazine that, with this acquisition, they “expect it to further solidify Spectrum Brands as a leader in the North American dog chews category and to provide compelling white space revenue opportunities in Europe, Latin America and Asia."

What it means for the pet industry: The dog treats category is one that has always been lucrative: dogs are one of the most popular pets in the United States, and dog owners love to treat their dogs. Spectrum Brands will no doubt use its resources to build up PetMatrix as a key player in the game, and one that competitors may need to look out for.

Related Article: How to Make Money off of Current Pet Food Trends

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Animal Supply Company and…

The game of larger distributors acquiring smaller distributors is one that is commonly played in the pet industry, and Animal Supply Company is “winning” with the recent acquisition of LADs Pet Supplies.

Don McIntyre, CEO of Animal Supply Company (ASC) told Pet Business Magazine that, “Expanding our presence in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, furthering our relationship with our current customers and welcoming new customers to the ASC family further grows our distribution platform essential to our strategic plan.”

What this means for the pet industry: Apparently not much, particularly for retailers and manufacturers. LADs Pet Supplies will continue to operate as such and service its customers as it always has.

PetSmart and…

In what is commonly referred to as the largest e-commerce acquisition in history, PetSmart acquired Chewy.com in April 2017. This large acquisition puts both companies in a position of power that might even allow them to compete with Amazon.

What this means for the pet industry: According to Mark Kalaygian, Editor in Chief of Pet Business Magazine, the deal may not be as dangerous to independent pet retailers as some may think. Instead, Kalaygian states that it takes the bite out of Chewy.com by driving manufacturers to pull their products out of both retailers and forcing prices to increase on Chewy’s site to ensure profitability.

Related Article: Is E-Commerce a Threat to the Pet Industry?

Phillips Pet Food & Supplies and…

Phillips Pet Food & Supplies, a major player in the United States’ pet product distribution game, acquired Pet Flow in March 2017. With Pet Flow being a noteworthy e-commerce retailer, it allows Phillips the opportunity to enter the game of online retail, and a chance to stand out from its competitors.

Bryan Jaffe, the managing director and co-head of Cascadia Capital’s consumer and retail practice, told PetFoodIndustry.com that, “The acquisition of PetFlow by Phillips uniquely positions the acquirer as a provider of ecommerce capabilities to its customer base of independent specialty retailers, many of whom do not possess the capital or expertise to compete in digital.”

What this means for the pet industry: Prepare to enter the world of omnichannel practices along with many other industries. Whether you like it or not, customers are using the Internet to research products, brands, and reviews. Incorporating these practices, and your communication, with your customers’ overall experience is the key to survival in the digital age.

Radio Systems Corporation (PetSafe) and...

Radio Systems Corporation, the company that provides the pet industry with brands including PetSafe® Brand, Invisible Fence® Brand and SportDOG Brand®, acquired Solvit Products in March 2017. Solvit is the manufacturer of pet products for uses including travel, active living, and therapeutic and senior care.

According to Lance Tracy, Chief Commercial Officer for Radio Systems Corporation, "While many Solvit products complement current PetSafe Brand categories, we are very excited to introduce our PetSafe customers and retail partners to new lines including ramps, stairs, and car seat covers, to name a few. Solvit’s outlook on caring for pets is in sync with PetSafe Brand’s mission to help pets and their owners live happy lives together.”

What this means for the pet industry: As one of the large pet product manufacturers continues to grow its offerings, it becomes more crucial than ever for fellow pet specialty producers to keep an eye on them. Smaller manufacturers must stand out by offering high quality, unique products to stand out from the rest in order to gain market share with pet specialty retailers.

Summary

As you can see, a lot has happened during the first two quarters of 2017. Olympus Partners acquired Petmate, Central Garden & Pet acquired K&H Manufacturing, Spectrum Brands acquired PetMatrix, Animal Supply Company acquired LADs Pet Supplies, PetSmart acquired Chewy.com, and Phillips Pet Food & Supplies acquired Pet Flow.

Did we miss an important one? Leave us a comment below or contact us to let us know!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ashley Hoffman – E-Commerce & Digital Marketing Manager joined the All Points family in 2015 and adds a little bit of fun to the team with her creativity and dumb jokes. Ashley is always on the lookout for the latest trends in marketing and applying it to how All Points does business. She is the blogging guru, social media master, e-commerce account management expert, and brand builder all in one. The best part is that she’s the loving owner of two beautiful cats named Kitty and Chewbacca.

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