PE-backed C.J. Foods buys American Nutrition

C.J. Foods, a portfolio company of J.H. Whitney Capital Partners, has acquired American Nutrition, a pet food company.

C.J. Foods, a portfolio company of J.H. Whitney Capital Partners, has acquired American Nutrition, a pet food company. No financial terms were disclosed.


BERN, Kan.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–C.J. Foods, Inc., (“CJF”), a custom manufacturer of specialty dry pet food for leading U.S. super premium brands, announced today it has completed its acquisition of American Nutrition, Inc. (“ANI”). The combined entity is the largest independent manufacturer of super premium pet food in the country, producing over one billion pounds of pet food annually.

“Completing this transaction in a time of uncertainty speaks to the strength of the industry as well as these two world-class manufacturers,” said David McLain, CEO, C.J. Foods. “The combined organization will deliver an unparalleled national footprint and broad product portfolio with a focus on delivering products of the future through innovation and category leadership.”

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. The acquisition of ANI enables CJF to offer a full portfolio of pet food and treats with national and international distribution.

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 (LANI), a leader of custom milling and ingredient supply to the pet food industry for over sixty years, which was acquired in April 2018. To learn more about C.J. Foods, Inc., visit our website at

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. American Nutrition 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. To learn more about American Nutrition, Inc., visit their website at

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