J.M. Smucker to divest Natural Balance premium pet food business in $50m deal

By Mary Ellen Shoup contact

- Last updated on GMT

Photo: Natural Balance
Photo: Natural Balance

Related tags: J.M. Smucker, pet food

J.M. Smucker Co. has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Natural Balance premium pet food business to Nexus Capital Management in a cash transaction valued at approximately $50m.

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of the company's 2021 fiscal year.

The Natural Balance business generated net sales of approximately $220m for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2020.

The divesture of the Natural Balance brand, which J.M. Smucker acquired in 2015, reflects its strategy to direct investments and resources toward areas of the business it believes will generate the most growth and profitability, said CEO Mark Smucker.

Smucker previously identified these core growth areas to be pet food and pet snacks, coffee, and snacking. 

In late October this year, J.M. Smucker announced the divesture of its iconic line of Crisco​ oils and shortening -- which holds the No. 1 position in shortening and vegetable oil category -- selling the brand to B&G Foods for $550m.

Despite the offloading of Natural Balance, J.M. Smucker will still maintain a strong presence in the pet food category with several other key brands. 

"Today's announcement helps the company further focus on the core brands within our pet food and pet snacks portfolio including Rachael Ray Nutrish, Milk-Bone, and Meow Mix among others, which together create a unique portfolio with significant long-term growth potential that meets consumer needs across value, mainstream and premium offerings,"​ said Smucker. 

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