Recent purchases of other companies by pet food manufacturers and equipment suppliers have resulted in the creation of some of the world’s largest pet food firms.

Ireland-based C&D Foods acquired French pet food manufacturer Continentale Nutrition after the Commercial Court of Boulogne, France approved the purchase on July 1. Continentale employed 358 people at two factories in France. With the acquisition, C&D now has nine factories spread across seven countries. C&D Foods, the pet food division of ABP Group, is now the largest private label pet food manufacturer in Europe.

On July 11, On July 11, Pet Valu and Pet Supermarket merged to create the third largest pet specialty retailer and the largest small-format, neighborhood pet specialty retailer in North America. The combined business is named Pet Retail Brands.  This merger follows a trend in the pet food industry of mergers and acquisitions.

With over 930 stores, Pet Retail Brands will generate approximately $1 billion in system-wide retail sales across the US and Canada. Pet Retail Brands will have an extensive retail footprint with stores from the East Coast to the West Coast and from Miami to Vancouver. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

When Nature’s Variety, maker of raw and other natural pet foods, announced on May 12 that Agrolimen of Spain was purchasing its remaining shares (after initially investing in the St. Louis, Missouri, USA-based company two years ago), it marked yet another chapter in an ongoing saga in the pet food industry: that of a large, multinational, traditional company buying a much smaller specialty company, often operating in the natural space.

Mergers and acquisitions have reshaped the pet food landscape for several years; consider the top three largest pet food companies. As with many other aspects of our industry, these acquisitions have also mirrored patterns and trends in human food.

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