TDBBS, LLC, a growing natural dog treats and chews business, announced the appointment of Tim Hassett as chief executive officer. The hiring of Hassett follows a growth investment in the company by leading middle market private equity firm Bregal Partners. The investment was made in partnership with the company’s founder and management team, who remain significant shareholders in the business.
Hassett joins the company from Beam Suntory, where he was president – Americas. He previously spent 10 years at Campbell Soup as chief customer officer for the North America business and also served at Kellogg’s and Procter & Gamble. He joins TDBBS with an exceptional track record of successfully growing global, consumer-focused businesses.
“I am very excited for the opportunity to drive value creation at an organization as dynamic as TDBBS,” Hassett said. “The company has enormous potential, and I look forward to working closely with Bregal Partners and the management team in further growing TDBBS.”
“We are thrilled Tim has joined the TDBBS team and are confident he is the right leader for the business,” Bregal Partners’ Managing Partner Charles Yoon said. “He is a world-class consumer-focused executive who has proven his ability to execute his vision and strategy while continuously inspiring those around him.”
TDBBS, founded in 2007, provides healthy, natural dog treats and chews through a portfolio of brands, including Best Bully Sticks, Barkworthies and Paw Luxury. In recent years, growth in the U.S. market for pet treats has outpaced the more mature pet food and supplies markets. Within pet treats, the natural and “occupational” chews category has been a key contributor to this growth as pet parents continue to view their dogs as members of the family, seeking out high quality products to keep their dogs busy, happy and healthy. Items such as bully sticks, antlers and other natural chews—many of which are single ingredient, high in protein, highly digestible, and offer dental benefits—provide pet parents with alternatives to rawhide, synthetic treats and more traditional baked items that may contain artificial preservatives or long lists of ingredients with uncertain benefits.
Yoon further noted that Bregal had targeted the pet industry as an area of focus over the past two years, given positive industry trends and the team’s prior investment experience in the space.
“We see a clear path for TDBBS to leverage its portfolio of high-quality products to take advantage of tailwinds surrounding the growing natural treats and chews category,” he said. “As consumers increasingly demand higher quality, limited ingredient products for their pets, there is a notable opportunity to build greater awareness of the benefits of natural chews and drive new product innovation. We intend to continue investing behind our impressive team and infrastructure as we transform the natural chews category.”
“We are incredibly excited to bring Tim on board and to partner with Bregal. The Bregal team has many years of experience in the pet industry, which will prove to be an invaluable asset to the company going forward,” Avrum Elmakis, TDBBS’s founder, said. “I have never been more excited about the growth prospects of the business, and I think we have an opportunity in the coming years to truly establish ourselves as the clear leaders in the natural chews category.”
Investment bank Harris Williams & Co. represented TDBBS, while Dechert LLP provided legal counsel to Bregal Partners on Bregal’s investment in TDBBS. BMO Sponsor Finance provided debt financing for the transaction. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.