J. M. Smucker Co said on Wednesday it would buy Rachael Ray Dog food maker Ainsworth Pet Nutrition for about $1.9 billion in cash to strengthen its pet food portfolio, and was exploring options for its U.S. baking business, including a sale. This comes out to approximately US$1.7 billion, after an estimated tax benefit of US$200 million. The transaction, announced April 4, is expected to close early in Smucker's fiscal year beginning May 1, 2018.
The deal increases Smucker’s pet food portfolio to 15 brands.
Smucker’s deal is the latest in a string of acquisitions of pet food companies by traditional processed food makers and comes on the heels of General Mills Inc’s purchase of high-end pet food maker Blue Buffalo Pet Products Inc for about $8 billion.
Mars, Cargill and Nestle have also added pet food companies to their portfolio, fighting for a share of the fast-growing $30 billion U.S. pet food market.
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