acquisition stock

Mars Petcare, part of McLean, Va.-based Mars, Inc., has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Champion Petfoods, from an investor group led by Bedford Capital and Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan.

For more than 35 years, Champion Petfoods has manufactured biologically appropriate pet foods and its two premiere brands, Orijen and Acana, are available in more than 90 countries.

“We are thrilled to welcome Champion Petfoods and its more than 800 talented people to the Mars Petcare family,” Ikdeep Singh, global president at Mars Pet Nutrition. “The Champion Petfoods team has been a pioneer in developing high-quality and premium pet food in the natural category that pet lovers around the world trust. Together, we will be even better positioned to support pet lovers and fulfill our purpose to create a better world for pets.”

Supported by the Waltham Petcare Science Institute, Mars Petcare has been advancing research into the health of pets for more than 50 years, company officials said.

Together, Champion Petfoods and Mars Petcare will provide a broader range of options for pet owners, officials said. Champion Petfoods’ brands complement Mars Petcare’s existing pet food portfolio by adding well-respected brands in the premium pet food category, broadening further its offering within pet specialty and independent retail, as well as digital commerce channels, officials added.

Champion Petfoods’ dry food products are manufactured in company-owned kitchens in both Canada and the United States. Mars Petcare’s significant capabilities and experienced associates will support Champion Petfoods’ talented team in driving further growth, innovation and success, officials said. Combined with Mars Petcare, Champion Petfoods will also be able to fully capitalize on opportunities to expand its portfolio to meet evolving pet owner needs, officials added.

“We are excited to join Mars Petcare and become part of a world leader in pet nutrition and services,” said Blaine McPeak, CEO of Champion Petfoods in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

“This announcement is a wonderful way to recognize all the employees over our history who helped build Champion into a pre-eminent global pet food company with our incredible brands Orijen and Acana. We look forward to working with Mars Petcare on taking Champion to an entirely new level.”

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and expected to close in the first half of 2023.

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC served as Mars' financial advisor, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP acted as Mars' legal advisor.

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC served as Champion Petfoods' financial advisor, and Torys LLP and Bennett Jones LLP acted as Champion Petfoods' legal advisors.