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Natural Balance, Del Monte Merge

Pet Age Staff//May 22, 2013//

Natural Balance, Del Monte Merge

Pet Age Staff //May 22, 2013//

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Del Monte Foods and Natural Balance Pet Foods, the makers of super-premium pet food for dogs and cats sold throughout North America and also in Europe and Asia, signed a merger agreement.

“Natural Balance was created nearly 25 years ago to give pet parents the best super-premium pet food on the market,” Joey Herrick, president and founder, Natural Balance Pet Foods, said.  “After careful consideration, we believe we’ve found the perfect partner to help the business grow for the next 25 years. Not only does Del Monte care about pets as much as we do, they have a complementary culture and set of values, their respected brands are found in eight out of 10 U.S. households and they have been a trusted name for healthy, quality consumer food for more than 100 years.”

He continued, “Natural Balance looks forward to working hand-in-hand with Del Monte to leverage their strong distribution, supply chain and innovation resources that will help the brand achieve its next level of growth.”

The purchase price and financial terms were not disclosed.

“Del Monte Foods is proud to welcome Natural Balance into the Del Monte family of brands,” Dave West, CEO, Del Monte Foods, said. “Natural Balance is well-positioned in the super-premium pet specialty channel and Del Monte looks forward to supporting and further strengthening that position, while honoring the brand’s esteemed culture and history.”

Natural Balance Pet Foods was founded in 1989 by Dick Van Patten and Joey Herrick. Today, the brand includes both dog and cat formulas and spans wet food, dry food and treats.

“This merger is consistent with our long-term strategy for Del Monte to further strengthen our pet food and snacks brand portfolio and accelerate growth by expanding in the pet specialty channel,” West said. “This offers us exciting prospects for continued growth, particularly in terms of strengthening our reach to independent pet retailers.”

The merger includes the equity interest held by private equity firm VMG Partners.

“We are very proud to have worked side by side with Joey and the Natural Balance team in building one of the strongest brands in the pet specialty channel,” David Baram, VMG managing director, said. “We are excited about passing the baton to Del Monte Foods, who we believe will continue to grow and strengthen the Natural Balance brand.”

The merger includes all Natural Balance brands, products and other trademarks. The companies anticipate the merger will close in mid-June, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory clearances.