Wind Point Partners acquires Pestell Group

Wind Point acquires leading Canadian animal feed ingredient distributor and cat litter manufacturer.

Wind Point Partners, a Chicago, Ill.-based private equity firm, has partnered with experienced consumer packaged goods executive Matt Miller to acquire the Pestell Group, which is comprised of two distinct business units: Pestell Minerals & 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, entrepreneur Don Pestell founded PMI in 1972, distributing five feed ingredients to local feed dealers from a leased building in Ontario. With a culture of product innovation, quality and customer service, PMI experienced early success. In 1980, Pestell expanded PMI by purchasing land to construct an office and warehouse at the company’s present location in New Hamburg, Ont., west of Toronto in the center of Ontario’s agriculture industry. He subsequently founded PET in 1990 with the launch of Easy Clean brand cat litter, 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, according to the announcement. PMI supplies hundreds of customers throughout Canada and the U.S. 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 that serves customers in Canada and the U.S. The business produces a wide range of clumping, alternative and traditional litter products and sells through both branded and private-label channels.

PMI and PET operate out of shared warehousing and manufacturing space in New Hamburg.

Paul Peterson, managing director at Wind Point, said, “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.”

Miller, a seasoned consumer packaged goods executive, has joined Pestell as chief executive officer. 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 U.S. and Canadian retail market.

“I am extremely excited to join Pestell and work with the team to drive further growth across both businesses," Miller said. "Given the company’s strong track record on product quality and service, we are committed to remaining an outstanding supplier to our customers. 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 Miller to guide the company through its next phase of growth.

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.

TAGS: Business
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