General Mills Buys Blue Buffalo
Minneapolis-based General Mills and Wilton, Conn.-based Blue
Buffalo Pet Products have entered into a definitive agreement
under which General Mills will acquire Blue Buffalo for $40 per
share in cash, representing an enterprise value of approximately $8 billion. The transaction establishes General Mills as the
leader in the U.S. wholesome natural pet food category, the fastest-growing portion of the overall pet food market, and accelerates its portfolio reshaping strategy, according to the company.
“The addition of Blue to our family of well-loved brands
provides General Mills with the leading position in the large
and growing wholesome natural pet food category and represents a significant milestone as we reshape our portfolio to
drive additional growth and value creation for our shareholders,” said Jeff Harmening, General Mills’ chairman and CEO.
“In pet food, as in human food, consumers are seeking more
natural and premium products, and we have tremendous re-
spect for how attentive Blue Buffalo has been to the needs of
their consumers, pet parents and pets as they have built their
brand,” Harmening added. “As we have done with Annie’s,
Lärabar and Epic, we expect to help Blue Buffalo by leveraging
our extensive supply chain, R&D, and sales and marketing re-
sources. We will, in turn, benefit from their experience building
one of the strongest pull brands in the CPG world.”
Founded in 2002, Blue Buffalo is a fast-growing major pet
food company making natural foods and treats for dogs and
cats under the Blue brand, which includes Blue Life Protection
Formula, Blue Wilderness, Blue Basics, Blue Freedom and Blue
Natural Veterinary Diet, according to officials. Blue is the No.
1 wholesome natural pet food brand in the U.S., with $1.275
billion in net sales and $319 million in adjusted EBITDA for fis-
cal year 2017, representing an adjusted EBITDA margin of 25
percent. Over the past three years, Blue Buffalo has delivered
compound annual net sales growth of 12 percent and adjusted
EBITDA growth of 18 percent, officials added.
“I have been impressed by General Mills’ strong track re-
cord of accelerating growth for its natural and organic brands,
while giving them the freedom to maintain their own unique
culture and identity,” said Billy Bishop, Blue Buffalo’s CEO.
“General Mills will be a tremendous home for our Blue brand
as our talented team of over 1,700 ‘Buffs’ joins this new extend-
ed family. From the first meeting Jeff and I had, I felt a strong
cultural fit between our two companies and believe they will
be a great partner in our mission to reach more pet parents and
feed more pets.”
General Mills reported that with its scale and experience, it
will support greater effectiveness and efficiency for Blue Buffalo
across key business areas, including sales, marketing, advertis-
ing, supply chain, research and development, innovation and
environmental stewardship. These capabilities are expected to
contribute to meaningful revenue synergies over time, in ad-
dition to $50 million in anticipated cost-savings opportunities.
Upon completion of the transaction, General Mills will operate Blue Buffalo as a new pet operating segment alongside
its four current operating segments: North American retail,
convenience stores and foodservice, Europe and Australia,
and Asia and Latin America. General Mills expects to maintain
Blue Buffalo’s headquarters in Wilton, Conn., and its Joplin,
Mo., and Richmond, Ind., manufacturing and research and development facilities. Bishop will continue to lead the business
and will report to Harmening.
The transaction, which has been approved by the boards of
directors of General Mills and Blue Buffalo, is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, and
it is expected to close by the end of General Mills’ fiscal 2018.
BENTLEY’S PET STUFF MAKES ACQUISITIONS
IN TWO STATES, EXPANDS IN GEORGIA
Bentley’s Pet Stuff is continuing its rapid expansion across the country. The pet specialty
retailer has expanded its presence in Colorado
and entered the market in Michigan through
two recent acquisitions.
In Colorado, the company acquired all
four Muttz Pet Goods and Gifts locations from
founder and owner Kim Morgan.
“We are pleased to collaborate with anoth-
er independent pet retailer and expand our
existing presence in Colorado,” said Giovanni
Senafe, vice president of Bentley’s Pet Stuff.
“Morgan will help us as we expand our Col-
Muttz Pet Goods and Gifts are located
in Firestone, Broomfield, Westminster and
The acquisition brings Bentley’s Pet Stuff to 18 Colorado retail
locations. Morgan will continue to hold a presence in Denver, but
now as a member of the Bentley’s Pet Stuff team.
“It’s wonderful when you find another independent retailer
whose mission and business beliefs align with yours, making it an
easy transition,” said Morgan, adding that her employees are happy
as well. “They will get health benefits and maintain the great business
Bentley’s Pet Stuff also acquired Green Pawz Pet Supply in Ann
Arbor, Mich., from founder Lisa Pearce.
“We are super excited to announce our entry into the Michigan
market with the platform of one of the best stores in the industry,
Green Pawz,” Senafe said.
Pearce will continue to hold a presence in Ann Arbor as Bentley’s
plans to open eight to 10 more stores in Michigan within the next
year, including the Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo areas.
“Bentley’s Pet Stuff’s beliefs align perfectly with ours, and we are
very happy to say that all of our employees are staying on board,
and they will now be getting health insurance and promotions from
within,” Pearce said.
In Georgia, Bentley’s Pet Stuff acquired Pooch N’ Paws, a retailer
with two locations in the Atlanta area. The company plans to open
five to eight more locations in the Georgia area in 2018.
Pooch N’ Paws opened in 2010 with a location in Suwanee Town
Center in Suwanee, Ga., and in Peachtree Corners, Ga. Starla Pellegrino, who co-owns Pooch N’ Paws with her husband, Bob, has values
that align perfectly with Bentley’s Pet Stuff, according to company
“We have always wanted to start a business where we could com-
bine our passion for family and pets together,” Starla Pellegrino said
in a note to Pooch N’ Paws customers. “Many similar companies are
expanding nationally, but none better aligned with the principals that
we started the company on ‘Only The Best For Your Pet’ than Bent-
ley’s Pet Stuff.”
Pellegrino will remain on board to help Bentley’s Pet Stuff expand.
Bentley’s Pet Stuff now has more than 100 stores across 13 U.S.
Starla and Bob Pellegrino,
owners of Pooch N’ Paws
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