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A&M Capital Partners-Backed Worldwise Acquires Pet Factory

Glenn Polyn//April 7, 2022//

A&M Capital Partners-Backed Worldwise Acquires Pet Factory

Glenn Polyn //April 7, 2022//

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Press release: Worldwise

Worldwise Inc., a leading pet supplies platform and a portfolio company of A&M Capital Partners, a middle-market private equity investment fund that is part of the A&M Capital platform, together with A&M Capital Opportunities Fund, an affiliated fund, has acquired Pet Factory, an innovative leader in the pet chews, treats, toys, and accessories segments. Worldwise has now completed three successful M&A transactions in the last four months, expanding its portfolio to include six complementary brands across several attractive product categories, including pet chews and treats, toys, litter accessories, pet bedding and more.

“We are a different business today than we were six months ago, thanks to the continued success of our M&A strategy in bolstering the Worldwise platform with innovative brands, products and production capabilities that meet the highest standards of both quality and safety,” said Kevin Fick, CEO of Worldwise. “With this acquisition, Worldwise gains a leader in the chew and treat space with strategic domestic manufacturing capabilities and strong customer relationships. The entire Worldwise team is thrilled to welcome Pet Factory to the family and to add their exceptional team to our platform. We also want to thank Tom Miller and Marco Corsi, who have been tremendous leaders of the business. We look forward to continuing and growing their legacy.”

Founded in 1989 and headquartered in Mundelein, Illinois, Pet Factory is a leading U.S. producer of high-quality pet chews and treats, and offers premium branded products for dogs through four core brands:

  • CareChewz: a 100% collagen, healthy, long-lasting, and safe daily chew.
  • Twistedz: a combo chew featuring a ‘twist’ of real chicken and/or beef meat around a beefhide chew.
  • Real Chewz: a 100% all-natural, oven-baked chew.
  • Combo Wrap Chewz: a handmade chew that combines traditional rawhide, porkhide, and real meat jerky.

Pet Factory also offers a range of popular dog and cat toys alongside other pet accessories, and has strategically positioned domestic product development and manufacturing capabilities to serve a diverse range of co-manufacturing partner pet chew and treat brands. Following the transaction, Greg Hill will continue to serve as President of Pet Factory while also becoming a senior member of Worldwise’s management team. In these capacities he will continue to grow the Pet Factory brands, serve its strong customer base, and contribute to the broader Worldwise platform.

“For us, this deal was all about partnership,” said Hill. “After building Pet Factory into the household name and category leader it is today, our vision for the future centered around identifying the right partners that could take our brands and business to the next level. We believe Worldwise and A&M Capital offer enhanced resources and meaningful opportunities to leverage our multi-faceted manufacturing capabilities, enabling us to fuel our future growth and better-serve our customers. Perhaps more importantly, they both share our values and vision for the future. We are excited to join the Worldwise team, to be integrated into a world-class platform, and to start the new chapter of Pet Factory.”

Since partnering in September 2021, Worldwise and AMCP have worked closely to execute the Company’s M&A strategy. In addition to Pet Factory, this strategy has also produced the successful acquisitions of FurHaven Pet Products, an e-commerce leader in the pet industry, as well as Kitty Sift, a leader in the highly consumable cat litter and accessories segments.

“When we acquired Worldwise, our goal was to grow the Company into a premiere platform in pet products, treats, and chews, with a broad portfolio of brands that resonate with pet owners,” said Ryan McCarthy, partner at AMCP. “In a short six months, Worldwise’s winning platform and approach has already attracted some of the top brands and sellers in the industry. We have closed several strategic acquisitions that have more than doubled the Company’s revenues, the number of brands in our portfolio, and importantly, the number of innovative product offerings for our customers. We believe our domestic production capabilities, global vendor network, omni-channel distribution platform, and diversified customer base are all compelling differentiators for those looking to become part of a larger platform, and we look forward to continuing to add complementary and accretive businesses to the Worldwise family.”

Kirkland and Ellis provided legal counsel to AMCP and Worldwise. Peakstone served as financial advisor to Pet Factory, and SFBBG provided legal counsel to Pet Factory.

A&M Capital Partners is Alvarez & Marsal Capital’s flagship investment strategy focused on middle-market control transactions in North America with total assets under management of approximately $2.5 billion. AMCP partners with founders, corporates and management teams, providing the capital and strategic assistance that we believe is required to take businesses to the next level of success. AMCP invests in businesses across a wide range of sectors including Business Services, Industrials, Manufacturing, Food & Beverage, Healthcare, Consumer & Retail, Government Services, Financial Services and Energy Services. More broadly, Alvarez & Marsal Capital is a multi-strategy private equity investment firm with over $3.8 billion in total assets under management across four investment strategies, which maintains a strategic association with Alvarez & Marsal, one of the largest operationally-focused advisory firms in the world.