MINNEAPOLIS – General Mills plans to acquire Tyson Foods, Inc.’s pet products business for $1.2 billion. As part of the acquisition, General Mills also will acquire a manufacturing plant in Independence, Iowa.

Tyson Pet Products had sales of more than $240 million during the 12 months ended April 3, according to the company. General Mills said the transaction will provide an estimated tax benefit of $225 million, equating to an effective purchase price of $975 million.

“We’re proud of the tremendous success of this business and the diligent work by our team to meet growing demand for high quality pet treats,” said Noelle O’Mara, group president of prepared foods at Tyson Foods. “We believe the time is right to transition these great brands to an established pet foods business where they will complement their existing portfolio.” 

Tyson stated it will continue to supply meat ingredients for True Chews, Nudges and Top Chews pet treats, now under General Mills’ ownership.

General Mills entered the pet food category in April 2018 when it acquired Blue Buffalo Pet Products, Inc. for approximately $8 billion.

“Pet food is a high-growth category, fueled by the humanization of pets, a trend that has only increased during the pandemic,” said Bethany Quam, group president of General Mills’ pet segment. “By adding these trusted pet treat products to our portfolio, we are strengthening our position in this attractive category.

“This acquisition is highly complementary to our existing business, combining Blue’s leading position in natural pet food with Nudges, Top Chews, and True Chews strong portfolio of natural meat treats for pets.”

Tyson Foods, Springdale, Ark., entered the pet treat market with the launch of True Chews in 2010. It expanded to include the Nudges brand in 2011 and Top Chews in 2012. The business employs approximately 300 people.

In May 2021, the Nudges brand released two new products: a long-lasting jerky bone chew and natural beef jerky treats for small-breed dogs.

General Mills said the transaction is expected to be modestly accretive to its earnings in the first 12 months following completion.

Law firm Hogan Lovells served as advisor to Tyson Foods in the transaction.

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