Deal represents merchant bank’s third acquisition of a Canadian raw pet food manufacturer and second acquisition of a pet treats manufacturer
MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO – April 23, 2018. The management team of Dane Creek Capital Corp. (‘DCCC’) is pleased to announce the acquisition of Naturawls Pet Products (‘Naturawls’), one of the fastest growing manufacturers of raw pet food and high quality dehydrated pet treats for dogs and cats in Canada. Naturawl’s premium raw pet food and dehydrated treats are sold under the NatuRAWls brand; dehydrated pet treats are also sold under the brand name Nothing Added. Based in St. Thomas, Ontario, Naturawl’s products can be found in pet specialty retail stores including PetSmart, Pet Valu, and Global Pet Foods locations throughout the province.
The purchase price represents 0.9 times trailing 2017 revenue. Under the terms of the deal DCCC will pay a portion in cash and the remainder in equity from its subsidiary United Raw Pet Food Inc. (‘United Raw’). United Raw was created as a wholly owned holding company for DCCC’s interests in alternative pet foods. DCCC will retain a substantive majority interest in United Raw post-transaction. The founder and CEO of Naturawls, Mark Murakami, will continue as CEO and also assume the role of President of United Raw. No other terms were announced.
“We are delighted to be making this announcement,” says Glen Tennison, President & CFO of DCCC. “Mark has built a very exciting business in a short period of time that is gaining traction every month. His focus on quality and operational efficiency has served him well and we look forward to having him as part of our senior team.”
The transaction marks DCCC’s third acquisition of a Canadian raw pet food manufacturer in less than a year. In Q4-2017 DCCC acquired Mountain Dog Enterprises Inc., the Edmonton, Alberta based manufacturer of Mountain Dog Food brand raw pet foods. In January of this year it acquired Pets4Life, the St. Thomas, Ontario based raw pet food manufacturer directly adjacent to Naturawls. With the acquisition of Naturawls, DCCC will now work with Murakami to combine the manufacturing operations of the two companies into one larger and more efficient operation. All three raw pet food manufacturers are held by United Raw.
The NatuRAWls raw pet food line is characterized by a range of high quality, single protein meals including chicken, beef, turkey, lamb and duck. All meals incorporate high protein muscle meats, organ, and bone complimented by spinach, carrot, pumpkin, cranberry, blueberry, apple cider vinegar and alfalfa to provide dogs and cats with delicious, nutritionally balanced meals.
“I am very pleased to be joining the team at Dane Creek,”says Murakami. “We have an exciting opportunity to create scale in the raw food industry with multiple brands and multiple manufacturing facilities across Canada. We will be able to give pet owners the ‘local flavour’ they want and greater access to variety while at the same time offering better logistics in support of efforts by both retailers and distributors to grow the raw food industry in Canada.”
Raw food is one of the fastest growing categories of pet food in Canada with an increasing number of pet owners choosing to reduce or eliminate processed kibble from their dogs’ and cats’ diets. This trend toward natural nutrition is similar to trends in human food where health-conscious consumers are looking to replace the processed foods in their own diets with fresh unprocessed meats, whole foods, and ancient grains. Pet owners are recognizing that highly processed kibble foods are not a natural diet and that the raw pet food meals available in today’s market are much more closely aligned with the ancestral eating habits of dogs and cats. Dogs, like wolves, are omnivores requiring a diet rich in animal protein and fat balanced by a source of omega-3s and fruit and vegetables for fibre and vitamins. Cats, like their wild ancestors, are naturally obligate carnivores who obtain all their nutrition from their prey.
Raw pet food diets are often complemented by natural, minimally processed treats. Starting with high quality proteins and applying a process of low-temperature dehydration, Nothing Added (seen in packaging as N/A Nothing Added) offers pet owners 24 varieties of single ingredient treats including beef, chicken pork, lamb and salmon.
With the addition of the Naturawls and Nothing Added brands, DCCC now has four brands and two manufacturers of dehydrated pet treats in its portfolio. DCCC is also the majority owner in Your True Companion Pet Products Inc., makers of the True Raw Choice and Pawzzie brands of pet treats. Nothing Added treats can be found in PetSmart, Pet Valu, and other pet specialty retail stores throughout Canada.
Glen Tennison, President & CFO
Dane Creek Capital Corp.
Mark Murakami, President
United Raw Pet Food Inc.