USA – Leading food industry leader Cargill has reached an agreement to acquire Pro-Pet, an Ohio-based manufacturer of private label and co-manufactured pet foods, including premium dog food brand Black Gold for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition makes Cargill the only national supplier of both animal feed and pet food offerings in the agricultural retail space, according to the company.

Pro-Pet has more than 150 employees and three pet food manufacturing facilities in Owatonna, Minnesota; St. Marys, Ohio; and Kansas City, Kansas, all in the US.

According to Cargill, the Pro-Pet acquisition provides it with increased production capacity and proximity to existing agricultural retail customers to better meet their growth needs within the pet food industry.

“Pro-Pet’s commitment to high-quality, safe pet food and passion for the pet food business is the perfect fit for our Cargill Animal Nutrition business, and allows us to better serve our customers seeking a focused supplier for both animal feed and pet food options,” said Pilar Cruz, president, Cargill Feed and Nutrition.

“Cargill’s vast resources and competency in sourcing of commodities, along with their reputation in the agricultural retail business sector, makes Cargill the natural and best partner for Pro-Pet,” said Jim Wiegmann, the president and CEO of Pro-Pet.

Wiegmann says that Cargill can leverage the strengths and capabilities of Pro-Pet better than any other company, enhancing its ability to serve retail partners and pet food brand owners.

Pet food is a top-growing category among agriculture retailers with an estimated 8% distribution share, in a space that continues to evolve with changing consumer preferences, notes Cargill.

“The pet food category continues to change, as indicated by the increased focus on premium offerings,” said Mark Lueking, U.S. managing director, Cargill Feed and Nutrition.

“Pro-Pet has the capability to satisfy this market need, and our mutual passion for serving customers make us a strong cultural fit.

We look forward to growing the business together by delivering a range of options to meet customer demand.”

Cargill currently operates 50 animal feed production and distribution facilities across the U.S., offering branded and private label pet food to agriculture retailer customers.