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PE-backed Whitebridge Pet Brands buys Dogswell

Whitebridge Pet Brands LLC, which is backed by Frontenac, has acquired Arthur Dogswell, a maker of treats and foods for dogs and cats. The sellers included TSG Consumer Partners. No financial terms were disclosed. Winston & Strawn LLP provided legal counsel to Whitebridge and Frontenac on the transaction while MHT Partners was financial adviser to Dogswell with Sidley Austin LLP providing legal counsel.


Whitebridge Pet Brands, LLC (“Whitebridge Pet Brands”), a leader in natural and minimally-processed pet foods, announced today it has completed the acquisition of Arthur Dogswell LLC (“Dogswell”), maker of Dogswell® and Nutrisca® treats and foods for dogs and cats. Whitebridge Pet Brands, backed by Frontenac, a private equity firm focused on investing in the lower middle market, acquired Dogswell from TSG Consumer Partners (“TSG”) and other shareholders. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Dogswell is a leading supplier of premium, innovative pet food and treats that are high-quality, delicious and provide proactive, nutritional benefits. Founded in 2004, the Los Angeles-based company was built on the belief that better nutrition leads to a longer, healthier and happier life for pets.

Whitebridge Pet Brands, led by CEO Olivier Amice, was founded in January 2015 with the merger of Cloud Star, a leading pet treat manufacturer and Petropics, maker of Tiki Cat® and Tiki Dog™.

“At Whitebridge Pet Brands, our team shares a passion for pets and the belief that natural and minimally-processed nutrition positively impacts the health and happiness of dogs and cats. We are very excited that Dogswell® and Nutrisca® brands will be joining Whitebridge Pet Brands’ portfolio as Dogswell® functional meaty treats and Nutrisca® grain & potato free foods are complementary to our other brands. Merging the two companies will allow us to leverage our combined structure to better service our distributors and retailers and accelerate our overall growth” said Amice.

“Dogswell® and Nutrisca® are well respected brands which will further bolster our product portfolio at Whitebridge,” said Joe Rondinelli, Vice President at Frontenac. “We see a tremendous opportunity to further build on the brands’ positioning and to accelerate growth by continuing to offer new and innovative products to pet parents.”

“Natural, minimally processed food and treats, for dog and cats, continues to be a growing and attractive spot in the market,” added Walter Florence, a Managing Partner at Frontenac. “We are excited to be making this acquisition, which fits well with our strategy and allows us to further invest behind a great leadership team. We could not be happier with what Olivier and the entire team at Whitebridge have already accomplished. We are confident they will continue to lead these brands to even greater future success.”
Rob Leibowitz, Operating Partner at TSG and Dogswell CEO, said, “Dogswell® has firmly established itself as a pioneer and innovator in the pet consumables space. We’ve enjoyed our productive partnership with the team and look forward to watching the Company continue to grow as part of Whitebridge Pet Brands.”

Whitebridge Pet Brands is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. Dogswell’s corporate office is in Los Angeles, California and its state-of-the-art SQF3 manufacturing facility is located in Joplin, Missouri. Customers and consumers can be assured minimal disruption as the businesses are integrated.

Winston & Strawn LLP served as legal counsel to Whitebridge and Frontenac. MHT Partners acted as financial advisor and Sidley Austin LLP served as legal counsel to Dogswell.

Whitebridge Pet Brands was founded in January 2015 with the merger of Cloud Star and Petropics, the maker of Tiki Brands. Whitebridge Pet Brand’s strategy is to build an innovative pet food company that brings health and happiness to pets and owners with a range of minimally processed, natural and wholesome dog and cat foods and treats. Their portfolio includes Tiki Cat®, Tiki Dog™, and Cloud Star®, sold exclusively in pet specialty and widely distributed brands, Petite Cuisine® and Buddy Biscuits®. Whitebridge Pet Brands, LLC is backed by Frontenac.

Arthur Dogswell, LLC was founded in 2004 and markets ranges of treats and food for dogs and for cats under the brands Dogswell® and Nutrisca®. Dogswell® and Nutrisca® are produced in a company- owned, state-of-the-art SQF3 facility in Joplin, MO and at other trusted partner’s facilities in the U.S. and are distributed through independent retailers and national retailers in North America.

TSG Consumer Partners, LLC is a leading investment firm with approximately $5 billion of assets under management, focused exclusively on the branded consumer sector. Since its founding in 1987, TSG has been an active investor in the food, beverage, restaurant, beauty, personal care, household and apparel & accessories, and e-commerce sectors. Representative past and present partner companies include Duckhorn Wine Company, vitaminwater, thinkThin, popchips, Muscle Milk, Yard House, Stumptown, Pabst, Planet Fitness, REVOLVE, PAIGE, Smashbox Cosmetics, Pureology, Sexy Hair, e.l.f. Cosmetics and IT Cosmetics. For more information, please visit

Frontenac is a leading private equity firm based in Chicago. The firm focuses on investing in lower middle market buyout transactions in the food, industrial, and services industries. Frontenac works in partnership with proven operating leaders, through an executive-centric approach called CEO1ST®, to identify, acquire, and build market-leading companies through transformational acquisitions and operational excellence. The firm has built a leading franchise working with over 225 owners of mid-sized businesses – almost always families or founders – as they address complex transition issues of liquidity, management enhancement, and growth planning. For more information, please visit