Riverside Co. sells pet toy business to JW Childs

The Riverside Co. sold Kyjen to JW Childs. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Kyjen, doing business as Outward Hound, designs and distributes interactive pet toys.

Press Release

The Riverside Company has sold Kyjen (dba Outward Hound). Outward Hound designs and distributes interactive pet toys that promote mental and physical wellbeing of pets in addition to pet accessories such as travel gear, games and life jackets. Its products are sold under the Outward Hound, Petstages, Dublin Dog, Bionic and Nina Ottosson brands.

Riverside helped Outward Hound expand in a number of ways during its roughly four year hold, including investing in sales, marketing, and branding initiatives. Also key to the growth were the add-on acquisitions of Petstages, Dublin Dog, Bionic Pet Products and Zoo Active, which delivered new products, customers and market opportunities.

In addition to diversifying Outward Hound into new dog products, the add-ons introduced the cat market to the company. These efforts helped the company significantly expand relationships with existing customers while entering new channels, such as big-box retailers.

“Our add-on strategy quickly accelerated growth,” said Riverside Managing Partner Loren Schlachet. “But we also made key investments in Outward Hound’s creative, sales and marketing teams to ensure a consistent flow of innovative product releases that captured further market share.”

Riverside further enhanced Outward Hound through operational improvements that boosted margins, made the supply chain more efficient and improved product development. The company also on-shored some manufacturing to lower costs during the hold.

“We were able to find millions of dollars in savings while continuing to expand the company,” said Riverside Principal Steve Rice. “The company not only became bigger, it became more effective and capable during the hold. It was rewarding to see more satisfied retail customers and ultimately more happy pets using Outward Hound’s broad suite of products.”

Partner Joe Lee, Operating Partner Bill White, Associate Josh Smith and Finance Director Gary Schlegel worked with Schlachet and Rice on the transaction for Riverside.

Jones Day and Deloitte advised Riverside and Crescent Capital Group LP and Barings were the lenders on the deal.

The Riverside Company
The Riverside Company is a global private equity firm focused on making control and non-control investments in growing businesses valued at up to $400 million. Since its founding in 1988, Riverside has invested in more than 490 transactions. The firm’s international portfolio includes more than 80 companies. (http://www.riversidecompany.com or http://www.riversideeurope.com)