Per Reuters “J. M. Smucker Co said on Wednesday it would buy Rachael Ray Dog food maker Ainsworth Pet Nutrition for about $1.9 billion in cash to strengthen its pet food portfolio.”
“Ainsworth Pet Nutrition is an excellent strategic fit for our company, as the Rachael Ray Nutrish brand adds another high-growth, on-trend brand to our pet food portfolio,” J. M. Smucker Chief Executive Officer Mark Smucker said.
The deal, which the company will fund with debt, is valued at $1.9 billion, excluding an expected tax benefit of about $200 million.
The deal increases Smucker’s pet food portfolio to 15 brands.
From a Bloomberg.com post on the pet food purchase…
More from Bloomberg.com…
Under Chief Executive Officer Mark Smucker, who became the fifth generation of his family to run the business when he took over in 2016, the company has tried to take the pet business more upscale. High-end pet food has surged 33 percent industrywide over the past five years and now accounts for more than 50 percent of the market. Consumers are shelling out more money for specialty diets, part of a trend known as “humanization.” Ainsworth generates about two-thirds of its sales from its Rachel Ray Nutrish brand.
“The humanization trend is here to stay,” the CEO said in an interview. “This brand fits exactly where we need it to — it’s very important to continue to gain scale where it’s relevant.”
Not included in any press release about the sale: all of the current Ainsworth pet products are feed grade pet products.
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