Carlyle Group buys back specialty pet care brand from Morgan Stanley

Last modified November 6, 2020. Published November 6, 2020.
The pet care market is expected to reach $327 billion globally by 2026, according to recent research. (Photo by Matt Nelson on Unsplash)

The pet care market is expected to reach $327 billion globally by 2026, according to recent research. (Photo by Matt Nelson on Unsplash)

The reacquired a majority stake in Manna Pro Products from investment funds managed by Capital Partners, after selling its holdings in the pet care company to the investment bank in 2017.

The Washington, D.C.-based private equity firm said Friday that its latest deal reaffirms its commitment to consumer, media and retail spaces, where it has invested more than $21.5 billion in equity.

Capital for the investment will come from Carlyle Partners VII, an $18.5 billion fund that makes majority and strategic minority investments primarily in the U.S. in areas like consumer, media and retail.

“We’re excited to partner again with John Howe and the talented Manna Pro management team, as we have known many of the key business leaders for more than six years,” said David Basto, a managing director at Carlyle. 

“Our prior partnership with Manna Pro was a great success, and the business’ momentum has only continued. Strong recent organic growth and the relative fragmentation in the categories in which the company plays give us a high degree of confidence in the opportunities ahead for Manna Pro,” Casto said.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Manna Pro manufactures specialty pet care products, food, treats, and health and wellness products out of St. Louis, Missouri.

“We are pleased to be working again with the team at Carlyle as we build on the substantial growth we’ve experienced in partnership with [Morgan Stanley],” said John Howe, CEO of Manna Pro. The pet care market has been on a steep upward trajectory over the past decade, and is expected to reach $327 billion globally by 2026, according to an August report from Global Market Insights.

“Our business has evolved significantly over the past three years with the expansion of our high quality product offering, increased investment in brand building, improved operations, and intense focus on growth and sustainability,” Howe said.

Carlyle has made a number of new acquisitions this year. It made a similar repurchase move in July when it bought Unison Software, an enterprise software provider that it originally sold to Abry Partners in 2010.

In October, Carlyle proposed with Pacific Equity Partners to acquire Australian pension industry service provider Link Administration for approximately $2 billion. The deal is still pending regulatory approval. 

Carlyle also purchased a majority stake in London-based funds network Calastone last month from a pair of venture capital firms. Carlyle said it would support Calastone in increasing its range of products, applying its technology and broadening its international presence. 

Manna Pro made its own acquisitions while it was under Morgan Stanley, including pet brands such as Fruitables, Hero Pet and Doggie Dailies, which expanded Manna Pro’s online presence and reshaped its supply chain and operations.

“Strong execution and enduring category tailwinds are driving exceptional growth for Manna Pro, and we believe there is meaningful runway for continued expansion, both domestically and internationally,” said Jay Sammons, head of global consumer, media and retail at Carlyle.

“With multiple avenues for future value creation, including growing the core business and increasing the scale of acquisitions, we look forward to supporting the company’s growth plans with our differentiated global capabilities and resources,” Sammons said.