U.S. private equity firm Wind Point Partners has partnered with Matt Miller to buy Pestell Group, a New Hamburg, Ontario-based animal feed ingredients distributor and cat litter manufacturer. Terms weren’t disclosed. Pestell consists of two businesses, Pestell Minerals and Ingredients and Pestell Pet Products, founded respectively in 1972 and 1990 by Don Pestell. Miller, a consumer packaged goods executive and senior advisor to Wind Point since 2016, joins the company as CEO. Wind Point Managing Director Paul Peterson said his firm will focus on backing Pestell’s organic and acquisition-based growth potential. The deal’s debt financing was supplied by Antares Capital and BMO Sponsor Finance.
Wind Point acquires leading animal feed ingredients distributor and cat litter manufacturer
Chicago, IL, June 1, 2018 – Wind Point Partners, a leading Chicago-based private equity firm, has partnered with experienced Consumer Packaged Goods executive Matt Miller to acquire Pestell Group (“Pestell” or the “Company”). Pestell, comprised of two distinct business units, includes Pestell Minerals and Ingredients (“PMI”) and Pestell Pet Products (“PET”). PMI is a leading distributor of animal feed minerals and ingredients for a wide variety of livestock. PET is a full-line manufacturer of cat litter and small animal bedding products.
After a decade of experience in the animal feed industry, serial entrepreneur Don Pestell founded PMI in 1972, distributing five feed ingredients to local feed dealers from a leased building in Ontario, Canada. Driven by a culture of product innovation, quality and customer service, PMI experienced early success. In 1980, Don Pestell expanded PMI by purchasing land to construct an office and warehouse at the Company’s present location in New Hamburg, Ontario, located west of Toronto in the center of Ontario’s agricultural industry. Don subsequently founded PET in 1990 with the launch of Easy Clean branded cat litter, once again utilizing quality and innovation to expand PET’s product offering and customer base.
Today, PMI is one of the largest distributors of animal feed minerals, ingredients and additives in Canada, offering hundreds of distinct products. PMI supplies hundreds of customers throughout Canada and the United States through its own dedicated warehouses and internal fleet, as well as third party warehouses and logistics providers. PET is a full-line manufacturer of cat litter and small animal bedding products serving customers in Canada and the United States. The business produces a wide range of clumping, alternative and traditional litter products and sells through both branded and private label channels. Both PMI and PET operate out of shared warehousing and manufacturing space in New Hamburg, Ontario.
Paul Peterson, Managing Director at Wind Point, commented, “Pestell has an outstanding reputation and track record spanning 45 years. We are excited about the organic growth potential of the business, as well as the opportunity to expand through acquisition. We look forward to working closely with the Pestell team and Matt Miller to build upon the strong platform that Don Pestell built over multiple decades.”
Matt Miller, a seasoned Consumer Packaged Goods executive, has joined the Company as CEO. Miller most recently served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Big Heart Pet Brands, a producer, distributor and marketer of branded pet products for the United States and Canadian retail market. Miller transitioned to this role from Del Monte’s Consumer Products Division after its sale to Del Monte Pacific Limited in 2014.
Miller commented, “I am extremely excited to join Pestell and work with the team to drive further growth across both businesses. Given the Company’s strong track record on product quality and service, we are committed to remaining an outstanding supplier to our customers. And as we look to grow, we expect to expand our product offering and footprint both organically and through acquisitions.”
PMI President Peter Brunelle and PET President Bob Hemingway will remain in their respective roles leading the day-to-day management of their divisions. Randy Coulombe will remain in the role of Vice President of Finance. Brunelle, Hemingway and Coulombe have played key leadership roles within Pestell and will work closely with Wind Point and Matt Miller to guide the Company through its next phase of growth.
Don Pestell stated, “This marks the beginning of a new and exciting chapter for Pestell. The team at Wind Point has a great history of working with entrepreneur and family-owned businesses. The combination of experience between Wind Point and Matt Miller, along with Peter, Bob, Randy and the rest of the Pestell team, has me very excited for what lies ahead. Our wonderful employees and valued customers are in terrific hands.”
Debt financing for the transaction was provided by Antares Capital and BMO Sponsor Finance. Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal counsel to Wind Point, and BKD, LLP provided transaction advisory services in connection with the transaction.
About Pestell Group
Pestell Group distributes animal feed mineral and ingredient products throughout the United States and Canada. The company also manufactures branded and private label cat litter and animal bedding products through a separate business unit. Pestell is headquartered in Ontario, Canada, where its two business units share warehousing and manufacturing space, and maintains 15 third party warehouses across North America for its animal feed products business.
About Wind Point Partners
Wind Point Partners is a leading Chicago-based private equity investment firm with approximately $2 billion in assets under management. Wind Point focuses on partnering with top caliber management teams to acquire well-positioned middle market businesses where it can establish a clear path to value creation. The firm targets investments in the consumer products, industrial products, and business services sectors. Wind Point is currently investing out of Wind Point Partners VIII, a $985 million fund that was initiated in 2016.
Additional information about Wind Point is available at www.windpointpartners.com.
Ron Liberman, Wind Point Partners
Wind Point Partners Acquires Pestell Group