From the message Natura sent to independent pet stores, to P & G troubles on Wall Street, to the latest – a survey from Natura questioning pet owners about the sale; here’s more news.
The following is the email sent to retailers on May 5, 2010 from Natura regarding the sale to Proctor & Gamble…
“Dear Natura Retailer:
Today the stockholders of Natura Pet Products have agreed to an acquisition by The Procter & Gamble Company. This transaction holds the promise of combining Natura’s outstanding natural pet food and treat brands with the vast resources of P&G to accelerate Natura’s growth in the holistic/natural segment of the pet food market. As you know, John and Ann are in their 70’s and wish to focus on their retirement. They have worked very hard over the years and now they want to (and deserve to) enjoy the rest of their life without the risk and worry associated with operating a large and complex business.
John, Ann and I believe that, based on our lengthy dialogue with P&G Pet Care Management and learning about their thoughts and plans for the business, it was appropriate to pursue a transaction with them. We feel a transaction with P&G would afford Natura employees and business partners the best opportunities in the future, and that they would best protect the “nutritional promise” that has made Natura Pet Products so successful.
Significant synergies which exist between the Natura business and P&G’s Pet Care business will be tapped to promote greater dynamics, competitiveness, and support in the market place. The “holistic/natural” segment of the Pet Specialty market, which Natura is credited with establishing with its founding products, is today the fastest growing segment in the pet food industry. P&G is interested in further expansion into this very attractive and exciting market arena and the acquisition of Natura Pet Products will enable a complementary opportunity to do so alongside P&G’s current Iams and Eukanuba brands. This move highlights P&G’s commitment to continued growth and investment in the Pet Food Industry and in particular the Independent Pet Specialty Channel.
In this transaction, P&G will be acquiring our manufacturing facilities in Fremont, NE and San Leandro, CA along with the full complement of Natura employees. P&G intends to operate Natura Pet Products as an independent entity, essentially intact, for the foreseeable future. With the exception of John, Ann and me, Natura’s current operating management team will remain in their respective positions and your contacts within Natura and our mutual business relationship will remain unchanged. All of the distributor contracts will be honored and continued as they are today. For the foreseeable future Natura will operate as a separate business unit within P&G Pet Care.
It is important to note that today’s announcement is that of a purchase agreement and not the closing of the actual sale which is subject to customary closing conditions, including receiving regulatory approval. Natura will continue to operate as an independent company until the final closing, which is anticipated to occur in approximately one month.
2779 Rademakers Way, Fremont, NE 68025 Tel: (402) 727-0870 Fax: (402)
591 Montague Avenue, San Leandro, CA 94577 Tel: (510) 357-7268 Fax: (510)
330 Madison Place, Davis, CA 95618 Tel: (530) 601-5300 Fax: (530) 601-5340
John, Ann and I are excited about Natura’s future and know that the equity of our brands combined with the many business synergies and scale of resources within P&G will result in faster and exciting growth for the entire Natura business. P&G is relying on Natura’s brands to play a key role in the growth of P&G Pet Care. Accurate information is crucial during this time of change. As you are asked about this deal, your help in providing the perspective above will minimize rumors and distraction to our business. We ask that everyone continue their focus on growing the Natura Pet Products brands. Thank you in advance for your continued support.
We sincerely appreciate your loyalty, support and friendship over the years and look forward to your continued success in growing the Natura business with P&G.
Chief Executive Officer
Natura Pet Products”
A sharp independent pet store owner, knowing the ins and outs of the pet food industry, questioned Natura about possible formula changes in the future…she asked if retailers would be notified in advance. (Pet food regulations allow a manufacturer to change a pet food formula yet the packaging – ingredient list – does not have to show the changes for six months) Here is Natura’s response…
“I am sorry to hear you are disappointed. Please understand Natura will continue to aggressively support the Independent Pet Specialty channel of trade.
Additionally, our dedication to quality is not changing. P and G understands and respects our mission and our dedication to nutritional excellence. We will continue to provide the current formulas to our customers.
This acquisition gives us a strong position in the holistic and natural pet food segment. It will enable us to enhance the health and well-being of even more dogs and cats and represents an exciting new source of growth for our business.
Also know that P and G has made a commitment to John and Ann Rademakers that they will remain true to the Natura heritage and nutritional philosophy.
Natura Pet Products
Sales Support and Product Advisor”
Yesterday Proctor & Gamble stock took a huge hit on Wall Street. One story stated over one billion shares of PG was sold at one moment, causing the stock to drop in half. Some have said the drop was due to a computer error, others have stated flatly there was no error.
To read more visit http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/06/citigroup-trading-error-f_n_566623.html
Today – two days after the sale of Natura Pet Foods was made public – a survey has been initiated from Marketprobe.com.
“May 7, 2010
Market Probe, an independent marketing research firm, is conducting a survey regarding pet food and would like to include your opinions. If you complete the survey we will send you a coupon good towards the purchase of a 5 to 7 pound bag of any Natura Pet Product food, valued at $15 to $20.
The survey is available online and will take less than ten minutes to complete.
For your convenience, the link to the survey is below. If the link is highlighted in blue, please click on it to complete the survey. Otherwise, cut and paste, or type the link into your browser’s web address field (URL field). The survey will be available through Wednesday, May 12, 2010.
Please be assured that this is not a sales effort, and that no one will contact you as a result of your participation in this study. We are only interested in your opinions.
If you have any questions about the survey, please feel free to contact Kim Gillette at Market Probe by e-mail (email@example.com) or by phone (1.800.669.0839).
Thank you in advance for your participation.
Vice President, Project Management”
I tried taking the survey however without any of my personal information provided to Marketprobe.com, I was told ‘I did not qualify to take this survey’.
Interesting. Are stock holders of P & G selling out? Is P & G worried about this purchase?
Time will tell.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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