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Natural Balance, Del Monte Plan Merger

Posted: May 22, 2013, 6:30 p.m. EDT

Natural Balance Pet Foods, a manufacturer co-founded by actor Dick Van Patten in 1989, is merging with Del Monte Foods, the companies announced today.

Del Monte is one of the nation’s largest producers of branded and private-label consumables for the pet and human markets. Its pet brands include Meow Mix, Kibbles ’n Bits, Milk-Bone, Nature’s Recipe and Milo’s Kitchen. Among its human food brands are Del Monte, Contadina and S&W.

"After careful consideration, we believe we’ve found the perfect partner to help the business grow for the next 25 years,” said Joey Herrick, co-founder and president of Pacoima, Calif.-based Natural Balance. "Not only does Del Monte care about pets as much as we do, they have a complementary culture and set of values, their respected brands are found in eight out of 10 U.S. households, and they have been a trusted name for healthy, quality consumer food for more than 100 years.”

All Natural Balance brands, products and trademarks are part of the merger with Del Monte.

Terms of the merger were not announced. The transaction is expected to close in mid-June.

Natural Balance’s premium food lines, such as L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Formulas and Delectable Delights Stews, appealed to Del Monte, company CEO Dave West said.

"Natural Balance is well-positioned in the superpremium pet specialty channel and Del Monte looks forward to supporting and further strengthening that position, while honoring the brand’s esteemed culture and history,” West said.

The merger is part of Del Monte’s strategy to further strengthen the company’s pet food portfolio, West added.

"This offers us exciting prospects for continued growth, particularly in terms of strengthening our reach to independent pet retailers,” he said

Del Monte, based in San Francisco, generated net sales of $3.7 billion in fiscal 2012.

The private equity firm VMG Partners is selling its share of Natural Balance to Del Monte.

"We are excited about passing the baton to Del Monte Foods, who we believe will continue to grow and strengthen the Natural Balance brand,” said David Baram, managing director of VMG.


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Reader Comments
My opinion about the Del Monte Natural Balance merger has only one caveat--will Del Monte continue to produce Natural Balance pet food with the exact same formula that has been in my cat's pet food for all of the years I have fed them this food. This is an excellent canned food without by products or fillers. I would hate to see them change the formula and hope that they do not destroy a very good product.
Fran, Old Bethpage, NY
Posted: 4/20/2014 1:01:34 PM
My dog has been on Natural Balance Duck & Potato for 8 of her 10 years, but when she quit eating it, I had to change. The food itself started to smell and the texture was gummy feeling. I think a dog knows better than us when a food is bad. Something about the way it is produced has changed.
Pete, Tacoma, WA
Posted: 3/15/2014 4:35:23 PM
I can't tell you how disappointed I am, I will be looking for a new dog food.
sanders, dewey, AZ
Posted: 1/14/2014 1:41:22 PM
Switching my pets ASAP. They are too precious to feed them slaughterhouse kill food.
Melissa, Canyon Lake, TX
Posted: 9/26/2013 12:33:35 PM
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