Wind Point Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm, has partnered with experienced Consumer Packaged Goods executive Matt Miller to acquire Pestell Group. Pestell, comprised of two distinct business units, includes Pestell Pet Products (PET) and Pestell Minerals and Ingredients (PMI). PET is a full-line manufacturer of cat litter and small animal bedding products. PMI is a leading distributor of animal feed minerals and ingredients for a wide variety of livestock.
After a decade of experience in the animal feed industry, serial entrepreneur Don Pestell founded PMI in 1972, distributing five feed ingredients to local feed dealers from a leased building in Ontario, Canada. Driven by a culture of product innovation, quality and customer service, PMI experienced early success. In 1980, Don Pestell expanded PMI by purchasing land to construct an office and warehouse at the company’s present location in New Hamburg, Ontario, located west of Toronto in the center of Ontario’s agricultural industry. Don Pestell subsequently founded PET in 1990 with the launch of Easy Clean branded cat litter, once again utilizing quality and innovation to expand PET’s product offering and customer base.
PET is a full-line manufacturer of cat litter and small animal bedding products serving customers in Canada, United States and internationally. The business produces a wide range of clumping, alternative and traditional litter products and sells through both branded and private label channels. Both PMI and PET operate out of shared warehousing and manufacturing space in New Hamburg, Ontario.
“Pestell has an outstanding reputation and track record spanning 45 years. We are excited about the organic growth potential of the business, as well as the opportunity to expand through acquisition,” said Paul Peterson, managing director at Wind Point. “We look forward to working closely with the Pestell team and Matt Miller to build upon the strong platform that Don Pestell built over multiple decades.”
Miller, a seasoned Consumer Packaged Goods executive, has joined the company as CEO. Miller most recently served as senior vice president and general manager of Big Heart Pet Brands, a producer, distributor and marketer of branded pet products for the United States and Canadian retail market. Miller transitioned to this role from Del Monte’s Consumer Products Division after its sale to Del Monte Pacific Limited in 2014.
“I am extremely excited to join Pestell and work with the team to drive further growth across both businesses,” Miller said. “Given the company’s strong track record on product quality and service, we are committed to remaining an outstanding supplier to our customers. And as we look to grow, we expect to expand our product offering and footprint both organically and through acquisitions.”
PET President Bob Hemingway and PMI President Peter Brunelle and will remain in their respective roles leading the day-to-day management of their divisions. Randy Coulombe will remain in the role of vice president of Finance. Hemingway, Brunelle and Coulombe have played key leadership roles within Pestell and will work closely with Wind Point and Matt Miller to guide the company through its next phase of growth.
“This marks the beginning of a new and exciting chapter for Pestell,” Don Pestell said. “The team at Wind Point has a great history of working with entrepreneur and family-owned businesses. The combination of experience between Wind Point and Matt Miller, along with Bob, Peter, and Randy and the rest of the Pestell team, has me very excited for what lies ahead. Our wonderful employees and valued customers are in terrific hands.”