Natural Balance and Canidae pet food companies to merge

Natural Balance Pet Foods and Canidae Pet Foods are merging to create one platform of their existing specialty pet food brands, with no terms disclosed.

Photo by Vitaly Titov,
Photo by Vitaly Titov,

Adapted from a press release:

Natural Balance, a premium specialty pet food brand, and Canidae, a premium, sustainable pet food company, announced they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which the companies will combine. The combination unites two specialty pet food brands with complementary yet differentiated offerings to drive innovation and growth for the benefit of pet parents everywhere. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

For more than 30 years, Natural Balance has offered premium products with high-quality, protein-forward ingredients spanning dog food, cat food and treats. Similarly, since its founding 25 years ago, Canidae has a rich history in the pet food space, offering both dog and cat food products with a focus on goodness for pets and the planet through regenerative agriculture and sustainable operations.

The combination will leverage both companies’ shared passion for improving the well-being and lives of pets through simple nutrition, responsibly sourced ingredients and protein-rich products. The combined company’s flagship offerings will include Canidae’s Pure, Goodness and All Life Stages, as well as Natural Balance’s Limited Ingredient (LI) and Original Ultra product lines.

History of Natural Balance, Canidae, investors

As part of the transaction, L Catterton, a leading global consumer-focused investment firm and majority shareholder of Canidae, and Nexus Capital Management, an alternative asset investment company and majority shareholder of Natural Balance, are each contributing new growth capital to support the successful integration and strategic long-term expansion of the combined company.

Founded in 1989 by actor Dick Van Patten, Natural Balance has exchanged ownership several times, first merging with Del Monte Pet Products in 2014, which became Big Heart Pet Products and was acquired by J.M. Smucker in 2015. In late 2020, Smucker sold Natural Balance to Nexus Capital Management. In 2021, the company had revenues of US$264 million, according to the Top Pet Food Companies Database.

Canidae launched its own pet food ingredient growing operation in Kansas in 2021. As a privately held company, Canidae’s annual revenues have not been available, according to the Top Pet Food Companies Database. The database reported the company had two facilities and 125 employees in 2021.

Statements from both owners

“Both Canidae and Natural Balance have rich legacies, solid brand recognition and strong consumer affinity, and this combination allows us to build on the strengths of each company,” said Andrew Taub, managing partner, and Matt Lischick, partner, with L Catterton. “As a combined company, we will be able to streamline manufacturing capabilities, invest in product innovation and build on each company's partnerships with key pet retailers.”

“Natural Balance has a proven position as a pioneer in the premium specialty pet food industry, and we are confident that Canidae is the ideal partner to enhance and accelerate the brand's strategic growth following the past two years as a stand-alone business,” added Damian Giangiacomo, partner, and Jonathan Whitlock, manager director, with Nexus Capital. “Together, we will create high-quality products anchored around premium, limited ingredient formulas and benefit from enhanced scale and a talented workforce.”

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