CHICAGO and NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Mars Petcare US Inc. and private equity firm Arbor Investments announced an agreement for Arbor to acquire Mars Petcare's US-based Exclusive Brands (EB) business. The purchase will include the division of Mars Petcare that produces private label pet food products for a variety of US customers through five manufacturing plants in Orangeburg, South Carolina; Washington Court House, Ohio; Miami, Oklahoma; Clinton, Oklahoma and San Bernardino, California. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.

"Exiting the private label business in the US allows Mars Petcare US to focus on growing its branded portfolio, including iconic favorites such as PEDIGREE, IAMS, GREENIES and others," said Mark Johnson, regional president, Mars Petcare North America. "The private label business has played an important role for us over the past 12 years driving scale and growth. As our focus has evolved, this sale gives Arbor the opportunity to further develop this business in the vibrant petcare category."

Arbor Partner Chris Harned said, "As investors in growth and innovation, we are thrilled to have been selected by Mars to partner with CEO Chris Hamilton and his team to lead EB into an exciting future. With an efficient and nationwide factory network, a loyal and experienced group of employees and a high-quality customer base, we look forward to playing an active role in the growing pet industry."

"Pet has been a priority for us," said Arbor Senior Operating Partner Tim Fallon. "As we look to leverage Chris Harned's successful prior investments in Meow Mix and Freshpet, EB provides us with a proven platform for both internal and acquisition-driven growth opportunities."

Arbor Investments is a specialized private equity firm that focuses on acquiring premier companies in the food, beverage and related industries. To date, the firm has acquired or invested in more than 55 food and beverage companies in North America.

In the United States, Mars Petcare food brands include PEDIGREE, IAMS, ROYAL CANIN, GREENIES, CESAR, NUTRO and SHEBA. Mars Petcare has more than 37,000 associates worldwide.

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