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J.M. Smucker to Sell Off Natural Balance in $50M Deal

Brian Connolly will serve as CEO of Natural Balance.

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ORRVILLE, OH — The J.M. Smucker Co. announced plans to sell its Natural Balance pet food business to Nexus Capital Management LP in a deal valued at approximately $50 million.

The transaction encompasses pet food products sold under the Natural Balance brand, certain trademarks and licensing agreements, and select employees who support the Natural Balance business, according to a press release from J.M. Smucker. The business generated net sales of approximately $220 million for the company’s fiscal year ended April 30.

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“The divestiture reflects our strategy to direct investments and resources toward areas of the business that will generate the greatest growth and profitability,” said Mark Smucker, president and CEO of J.M. Smucker (NYSE: SJM).

“Today’s announcement helps the Company further focus on the core brands within our pet food and pet snacks portfolio including Rachael Ray Nutrish, Milk-Bone and Meow Mix among others, which together create a unique portfolio with significant long-term growth potential that meets consumer needs across value, mainstream and premium offerings.”

Damian Giangiacomo, partner at Nexus, stated: “We believe in the brand’s strong legacy and the ability to reinvigorate the business as an independent company in partnership with the strong management team we have assembled.

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“We are pleased to announce that Brian Connolly will lead the new Natural Balance business as CEO,” he continued in a Nexus press release. “Brian played a critical role on our deal team throughout due diligence and crafting the go-forward strategic and operating plan for the business. Brian’s successful 20 years of experience in pet food as the co-founder of Castor & Pollux and former board member at Merrick Pet Care ideally position the Natural Balance brand for continued relevance with pet specialty retailers and pet owners.”

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of the company’s 2021 fiscal year, subject to customary closing conditions.

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