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One Pet Distributor to Another as Phillips Acquires Royal

Posted: March 7, 2013, 5:45 p.m. EST

Phillips Pet Food & Supplies, a distributor based in Easton, Pa., jumped into the aquatics sector Tuesday with the acquisition of a competitor, Royal Pet Supplies.

Royal’s distribution centers in Brentwood, N.Y., and Pompano Beach, Fla., will join Phillips’ six-warehouse network. Phillips operates facilities in Easton; Taunton, Mass.; Spartanburg, S.C.; Plant City, Fla.; Clyde, Ohio; and Indianapolis.

Overlapping distribution centers are expected to be "consolidated over time,” noted Jessica Farina-Morris, director of marketing for Phillips.

The pet products distribution industry has been marked by recent mergers.

 Phillips Pet Food & Supplies
Joining their companies in a symbolic handshake are, from left, Royal CEO Darren Bonnstetter and Phillips CEO Blaine Phillips.
Seattle-based Animal Supply Co. over the past four months acquired companies operating in the Eastern, Southeastern and Western United States. The takeover targets were Summit Pet Product Distributors of Greensboro, N.C.; Lone Star Pet Supply of Schertz, Texas; and Zeus & Co. California (West), a division of Chicago-based Zeus.

Phillips has been active as well, buying Paterson, N.J.-based Mike’s Feed Farm Wholesale Distribution Co. in early 2012.

"Phillips has been a leader in acquisitions,” Farina-Morris said. "We made four last year and two the year prior.”

The mergers benefit retailers, she said.

"We really feel that giving retailers a strong distributor partner that can offer a full-line portfolio is very valuable to them,” she said. "This is the reason we make acquisitions.”

Aquatics equipment and supplies had been a weakness of Phillips.

"This acquisition broadens our portfolio of category offerings so that we now offer aquatics,” Farina-Morris commented.

Phillips will carry aquatics lines from manufacturers such as Cobalt Aquatics, Eheim, Hikari, Kent Marine, Marc Weiss, Mars Fishcare, Ocean Nutrition, Red Sea and Seachem.

"We will offer our customers...full-line aquatics, which allows us to address our retailers’ complete supply needs,” said Blaine Phillips, Phillips CEO.

The takeover of Royal will improve sales support and inventory management, Phillips noted.

"The primary objective of this new venture is to continue to build a best-in-class distribution network,” he stated.

Privately held Phillips Pet Food & Supplies declined to disclose the acquisition’s financials. Phillips employs 700 people, compared to Royals’ 400.


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