Pet food maker Blue Buffalo files for IPO of up to $500 mln-Reuters

(Reuters) – Pet food maker Blue Buffalo Pet Products Inc filed with U.S. regulators on Wednesday to raise up to $500 million in an initial public offering of its common stock.

Wilton, Connecticut-based Blue Buffalo, which is backed by private equity firm Invus Group, makes healthy food for cats and dogs.

The company’s products include the Blue Basics brand for pets with food sensitivities; the Wilderness brand that includes more meat and the grain-free Freedom brand. Blue Buffalo also sells cat litter, pet treats and stews.

Blue Buffalo, founded in 2003, said in the filing that it has about 6 percent share of the $26 billion U.S. pet food market.

The company is looking to go public amid positive industry trends like rising pet ownership and an increase in spending among pet owners.

Pet food maker Freshpet Inc’s stock has risen 22 percent since it went public last year.

Blue Buffalo had hired banks for an IPO, Reuters reported last year, citing sources.

The company reported a 28 percent jump in revenue to $917.8 million for the year ended Dec. 31. Net income rose 30 percent to about $102 million.

JP Morgan, Citigroup, Barclays, Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley are among the underwriters to the IPO.
All the shares in the offering will be sold by the selling stockholders, the company said in the filing.

Blue Buffalo intends to list its common stock on the Nasdaq under the symbol “BUFF”.

The amount of money a company says it plans to raise in its first IPO filings is used to calculate registration fees. The final size of the IPO could be different.