BERN, Kan. (February 17, 2020) — C.J. Foods, Inc., (“CJF”), a custom manufacturer of specialty dry pet food for leading U.S. super premium brands, today announced an agreement to acquire American Nutrition, Inc., (“ANI”) a leading supplier of super premium dry, canned and baked pet food & treats products. This transaction creates the largest independent manufacturer of super premium pet food in the country, producing a total of one billion pounds of pet food annually. The transaction is expected to close by April.
The acquisition of ANI will enable CJF to offer a full portfolio of pet food and treats with national and international distribution. David McLain, CEO, CJ Foods, will join the Board of Directors. Tod Morgan remains Chairman of the Board and Bill Behnken, current President and CEO, ANI, will serve as Board member.
“This acquisition creates the leading manufacturer of super premium pet food with a national footprint, focused on producing and delivering the highest quality products to our customers,” said Morgan. C.J. Foods has a rich 35-year history in super premium pet food manufacturing with a wide range of international capabilities serving the leading super premium brand owners and retailers.
ANI is one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of super-premium quality dry, canned and baked pet food and treat products. Operating five manufacturing facilities throughout the United States, ANI has achieved a reputation of manufacturing excellence through its emphasis on quality and best-in-class SQF certified production facilities
“C.J. Foods and ANI are two world-class manufacturers with complementary capabilities that make the combination a win for our customers” said Behnken. “It truly enhances our ability to provide higher levels of innovation to meet the ever-evolving opportunities in premium pet nutrition.”
“CJF is thrilled to be moving forward with ANI to strengthen our customer value proposition with a continued singular focus on innovation and food safety, leading the industry with on-trend products,” said McLain.
C.J. Foods is a portfolio company of J. H. Whitney Capital Partners, (“JH Whitney”), a Connecticut based private equity firm, that has owned C.J. Foods since 2014 and acquired Lortscher’s Animal Nutrition (LANI) in 2018.
About C.J. Foods, Inc. Founded in 1985, by the Chuck & Joyce Kuenzi, C.J. Foods, Inc., (“CJF”), is a manufacturer of many of the most sophisticated brands of dry Super Premium Pet food in America. CJF is known for its dedication to producing only the highest quality and safest products in the category. CJF currently serves over 40 leading super premium brands selling into the US and International markets and employs more than 400 people with campuses in Pawnee City, NE, Bern, KS, Baxter Springs, KS and Brownwood, TX. The portfolio includes Lortscher Animal Nutrition, Inc.,(LANI), a leader of custom milling and ingredient supply to the pet food industry for over sixty years, which was acquired in April 2018.
About American Nutrition, Inc. Founded in 1972 by Jack Behnken, American Nutrition, Inc., (“ANI”), is one of the nation’s largest pet food manufacturers specializing in super premium dry kibble, canned and baked treats. ANI has five state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Washington, Utah and Pennsylvania with over 400 employees serving numerous national brands as well as international brands in 17 countries worldwide. As a second-generation family-owned company, ANI has always held the highest standards of integrity, quality and safety in everything they do upholding their purpose to nourish and enrich the lifelong connection between people and their pets.
About J. H. Whitney Capital Partners J.H. Whitney Capital Partners, (“JHW”), established in 1946 by the industrialist and philanthropist, John Hay “Jock” Whitney, was one of the first U.S. private equity firms and is often credited with pioneering the development of the private equity industry. Today, JHW is a leader in the private equity industry, having invested in over 400 companies since formation and currently manages approximately $1.0 billion in private capital. JHW remains privately owned by its investing professionals and focused on three primary sectors; consumer, healthcare and specialty manufacturing. To learn more about JH Whitney Inc. please visit the website at www.whitney.com.