Merrick Pet Care purchased by Nestle Purina PetCare

Nestle Purina PetCare to purchase natural/organic pet food company; Merrick to operate as independent business.

Merrick Pet Care announced July 21 that it has signed an agreement in which Nestle Purina PetCare Co. will purchase the company from its private equity owner, Swander Pace Capital. Terms were not disclosed.

Merrick founder Garth Merrick said, "I believe Nestle Purina is the right company to take what I along with others have built to the next level. I’m proud my name will continue to be on the door as we remain committed to making the best food for the best pets ever."

Merrick is one of the fastest-growing natural and organic pet food companies in the industry, and will continue to operate as an independent business with no planned changes to its management or operations, the announcement said.

Merrick has more than 350 employees located primarily in Hereford and Amarillo, Texas, and Evanston, Ill.

With this agreement, which is expected to close over the next several months, Merrick will be able to further build upon its record of providing pets with leading nutrition, quality and food safety, while taking advantage of new global resources and innovations.

"The Merrick team has built an extremely strong portfolio of natural and organic pet food and treat brands that are helping millions of pets thrive," Joe Sivewright, chief executive officer of Nestle Purina PetCare, said. "We admire Merrick and what the team is doing to provide pets with nutritious, quality and safe food and are excited about how the Merrick brands will broaden the Purina portfolios."

Merrick offers a variety of U.S.-made dry and wet foods, as well as treats, that are available nationally at independent pet specialty stores, Petco and online via select retailers. In April 2012, Merrick Pet Care Inc. acquired Castor & Pollux and its ORGANIX branded portfolio.

Merrick's manufacturing facilities are Safe Quality Food Level III certified and in 2012, Merrick's facilities became the world's only known organic-certified manufacturer for both dry and canned food for pets under the USDA National Organic Program.

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