Central Garden & Pet to buy PE-backed Green Garden Products for $532m

Central Garden & Pet has agreed to acquire Green Garden Products, a provider of branded consumable gardening products.

Central Garden & Pet has agreed to acquire Green Garden Products, a provider of branded consumable gardening products. The purchase price is $532 million. The deal is expected to close in the first calendar quarter of 2021. Green Garden Products is backed by Freeman Spogli & Co.

PRESS RELEASE

NORTON, Mass., Dec. 31, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Green Garden Products, a leading supplier of branded consumable gardening products, announced today that it has signed an agreement to be acquired by Central Garden & Pet (NASDAQ: CENT, CENTA) (“Central”), a market leader in the Garden and Pet industries, for $532 million. The transaction is expected to close in the first calendar quarter of 2021, subject to certain closing conditions, including regulatory approval.

The transaction marks the culmination of Green Garden Products’ significant growth and continued evolution as a market leader in the gardening segment, particularly in the past six years with the launch of its eCommerce platform, expansion into new categories and its partnership with Freeman Spogli & Co., a leading middle market private equity firm.

“Green Garden Products has grown into the largest seed and seed starting company in North America. Our team is excited to join forces with Central Garden & Pet, a company with an outstanding team and an excellent reputation in the lawn and garden industry,” said Michael Pietrasiewicz, President and CEO of Green Garden Products. “As a company that has historically focused on the early season gardener, we feel that this combination can now provide an opportunity to deliver new products and experiences throughout the entire journey of the gardener. In addition, this transaction is a testament to the outstanding work of our associates and our management team, and an acknowledgement of the excellent partnerships that we have established with our retail customers, suppliers, and Freeman Spogli & Co., who, in particular, has been an excellent and very supportive partner over the last six years.”

Tim Cofer, CEO of Central, added: “We are thrilled to welcome Green Garden into the Central Garden & Pet team upon closing. Our new Central to Home strategy is focused on building further scale in our two operating segments and meeting consumer and customer needs. Adding Green Garden’s well-known and trusted seed and seed starting brands for vegetables, herbs and flower gardens will expand our portfolio into an attractive adjacent garden category and will strengthen our footprint with key retail customers. Moreover, we expect to leverage our strong merchandising, brand building and digital capabilities to grow sales for both Central and our retail partners.”

Green Garden Products was assisted by lead advisor William Blair & Company and co-advisor BlackArch Partners, and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius provided legal representation. Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP served as the legal advisor to Central.

About Green Garden Products
Headquartered in Norton, Massachusetts, Green Garden Products is the leading supplier of seed packets and seed starter products for flower and vegetable gardens in North America, as well an emerging participant in the specialty soil category. The Company distributes over 3,500 SKUs under the Ferry-Morse, American Seed, Livingston Seed, McKenzie, NK Lawn & Garden, Jiffy, SUPERthrive, Dyna-Gro and Seeds of Change brand names to a network of over 70,000 retail locations across the home center, mass merchant, farm and independent, dollar store, and distributor/co-op channels. The Company provides its retail customers with best-in-class category management services including SKU selection, packaging and displays, in-store merchandising services, and logistical solutions. In addition to its headquarters in Massachusetts, the Company maintains production and distribution facilities in Ohio, California and Manitoba. For additional information about Green Garden Products, please visit the Company’s website at www.greengarden.com.

About Central Garden & Pet
Central Garden & Pet (NASDAQ: CENT, CENTA) understands that home is central to life and has proudly nurtured happy and healthy homes for over 40 years. With 2020 net sales of $2.7 billion, Central is on a mission to lead the future of the pet and garden industries. The Company’s innovative and trusted products are dedicated to help lawns grow greener, gardens bloom bigger, pets live healthier and communities grow stronger. Central is home to a leading portfolio of more than 65 high-quality brands including Pennington, Nylabone, Kaytee, Amdro and Aqueon, strong manufacturing and distribution capabilities and a passionate, entrepreneurial growth culture. Central Garden & Pet is based in Walnut Creek, California and has over 6,300 employees across North America and Europe. For additional information about Central, please visit the Company’s website at www.central.com.

About Freeman Spogli & Co.
Freeman Spogli & Co. is a private equity firm dedicated exclusively to investing in and partnering with management in consumer and distribution companies in the United States. Since its founding in 1983, Freeman Spogli has invested over $5 billion in 65 portfolio companies with an aggregate transaction value of over $25 billion, and is currently making investments from FS Equity Partners VIII, L.P. Freeman Spogli has offices in Los Angeles and New York. For additional information, visit www.freemanspogli.com.