Author's Note: This article was originally published on July 5th, 2017 and has been updated on December 15th, 2017 for completeness. If we are missing any, please reach out to us and let us know who was involved and how we can get more information.
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 the top pet industry mergers and acquisitions of 2017.
Olympus Partners and…
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.
Central Garden & Pet and…
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.
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.
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.
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.
In November 2017, it was announced that Petco had aquired PupBox - subscription box company focused on puppies and various life stages for dogs. Together, the brands collaborated and launched the first-ever Holiday Box from Pupbox which is filled with toys, treats, and training tips for the holidays.
The subscription box is designed to help pet parents with their new puppies - a challenge that any dog owner knows well - with everything from toys, treats, grooming tools, and training information.
Ben Zcaifler, the CEO of PupBox, says "pets are absolutely part of our families and we want to make sure every fur-baby has a present to open along with the rest of their loved ones this year.” The CEO of Petco, Brad Weston, believes that this acquisition fits very well with the core of the company's mission. He says that, "Combining Petco’s breadth of product and services offerings with PupBox’s highly customized monthly subscription service takes the guess work away from pet parents and provides everything they need to raise a healthy, happy pup at every stage of life.”
What this means for the pet industry: As the industry changes, even big box retailers must do everything they can to stand out and survive from the online-focused retailers of the world. Getting involved with subscription boxes, a one-time big trend in retailing, is just another way pet retailers can get themselves in front of customers offline.
Manna Pro and...
According to Pet Business, Mana Pro Products, LLC, a manufacturer and marketer of animal nutrition and care products, has recently acquired Corta-Flx, Inc., a global supplier of equine and canine health supplements.
Mana Pro Products was formed in 1985 and claims to have deep roots and connections to some of the feed industries pioneers who paved the way for excellence in animal nutrition. They currently offer products for all kinds of animals ranging from horses and cattle to rabbits and goats.
On the other hand, Corta-Flx focuses solely on equines, developing and distributing equine joint supplements especially for competition horses. They also offer other healthcare products for equines including ulcer management and poultice products.
The two companies will ideally work together to align their customer base and allow a larger customer base to discover the products that are designed to improve their animal's health and performance.
What this means for the pet industry: Farm and feed retailers especially will be able to take advantage of this partnership by collaborating with both brands to come up with an ideal healthcare solution for their customers.
Pet Supplies Plus and...
A small, previously independent pet store in Pennsylvania has recently decided to join the Pet Supplies Plus Family. Washington Pet has started operating as a Pet Supplies Plus location as of October 2017, providing their customers with a better product selection and lower prices on average.
The family-owned pet store ran independently for eight years before owners Bill and Sharon Hannon decided to join the Pet Supplies Plus family. Although the store will have a new look and feel, the Hannons will continue to run the day-to-day management of the location.
David Leonardo, senior vice president for franchising at Pet Supplies Plus, says “It is great having Bill, Sharon and Washington Pet in the Pet Supplies Plus family, and we can’t wait to see the immediate positive impact the new store has on neighbors in the Slate Belt."
What this means for the pet industry: Independent pet stores are continuing to have a difficult time competing against the low prices offered by e-commerce and big box retailers. Expanding through acquisition is one way to bring the best products and lower prices to customers, as long as the owners are able to find someone who will allow them to maintain the day-to-day duties.
Parkers Pet Provisions and...
Earlier this year, Parkers Pet Provisions, a manufacturer focused on providing healthy treats and nutritional supplements to pets merged with Complete Natural Nutrition, a leader in natural pet treats known for brands such as Pill Buddy Naturals and Off Leash. Since their merge, they have since changed their combined name to Presido Natural Pet Company.
Since the merger, the newly found company has been met with support from both retailers and distributors. According to Andrew Morrison, co-founder and CEO of Presidio Natural Pet Co., the name change is because "we wanted our combined family of brands to have their own identity, eliminating any confusion about who the parent company is and thus the reasoning behind our timely rebranding.”
What this means for the pet industry: As natural pet treats continue to grow in popularity, it makes sense for similar companies to work together instead of against each other, combining customers and products to create one cohesive brand experience.
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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