J.M. Smucker to acquire Ainsworth Pet Nutrition

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J.M. Smucker to acquire Ainsworth Pet Nutrition

Pet nutrition seems to be a niche many companies want to step into. J.M. Smucker has — a move that comes on the heels of General Mills’ plan to acquire Blue Buffalo pet products.

The transaction is valued at approximately $1.7 billion, after an estimated tax benefit of $200 million. Ainsworth Pet Nutriton is a producer, distributor and marketer of pet food and pet snacks, that include Rachael Ray’s Nutrish line.

“It has been an important goal of mine to help create pet food with the same care I use when creating my recipes, as well as a brand that has been able to donate over $27 million to help animals in need,” Ray said. “So I am pleased that J. M. Smucker is committed not only to maintaining the high quality of the Nutrish brand, but continuing the philanthropic efforts of the brand through donations to the Rachael Ray Foundation, which helps those animals that are less fortunate than our own.”

One of the benefits of the acquisition lies in the pet food and pet snacks becoming one of the largest center-of-the-store categories in the U.S. food and beverage marketing, generating over $30 billion in annual sales across all channels, the Orrville, Ohio.-based company said.

“Ainsworth Pet Nutrition is an excellent strategic fit for our company, as the Rachael Ray Nutrish brand adds another high-growth, on-trend brand to our pet food portfolio,” Mark Smucker, chief executive officer, said. “Their team has done a tremendous job growing this business, building Nutrish into one of the most recognizable premium pet food brands in the United States. We look forward to working with the talented Ainsworth team, as we know their passion for pets runs as deep as ours.”

Adding Nutrish to J.M. Smucker’s portfolio strengthens the company’s position in dog snacks and cat food, and contribute net sales of approximately $800 million in the first full year of the transaction’s closing, the company said.

“Smucker’s decision to acquire Ainsworth Pet Nutrition validates the power of the Ainsworth company mission,” Jeff Watters, president and CEO of Ainsworth, said. “At Ainsworth, our goal has been to improve the lives of pet families everywhere by making high-quality pet food accessible to all pet parents. This single-minded focus has resonated with consumers and will continue to resonate under Smucker leadership.”