NEW YORK — Primal Pet Foods, a pet food, treat and supplement producer based in Fairfield, Calif., announced Aug. 16 it has been acquired by private investment firm Kinderhook Industries, LLC. Kinderhook currently owns Prairie Dog Pet Products, Himalayan and Holistic Hound, and plans to combine all four brands under the new name, Primal Pet Group.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Primal Pet Group’s capabilities include premium minimally processed diets, treats and supplements from Primal Pet Foods, freeze-dried, smoked and natural dog treats by Prairie Dog, hard-chew cheese dog treats by Himalayan Corporation, and CBD pet supplements under Holistic Hound. Now, these combined companies comprising Primal Pet Group will offer a robust line of premium pet nutrition products, operating several facilities across California, Colorado, Texas and Washington with capabilities to produce raw, freeze-dried, air-dried and dehydrated products.

The company will also manufacture for private label customers, including retailers.

Kinderhook Industries acquired Prairie Dog Pet Products in June 2020. Under new ownership, Prairie Dog went on to acquire Himalayan Corporation in April 2021.

“We are incredibly excited to bring together Primal Pet Foods and Prairie Dog Pet Products under the Primal Pet Group umbrella,” said Tom Tuttle, managing director at Kinderhook. “Primal is well-positioned for growth with leading brands, an experienced management team and Kinderhook’s significant investment in an expanded state-of-the-art manufacturing footprint that creates the capacity to meet growing customer demand for minimally processed products. We look forward to partnering with management as they build capabilities and rapidly scale the business.”

With the change in ownership comes changes in leadership. Timothy “Tim” W. Simonds has been named chief executive officer of Primal Pet Group. Bringing more than 30 years of career experience to his new role, Simonds most recently served as chief executive officer of Merrick Pet Care. His previous career experience includes leading brand strategy and marketing for the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, General Electric, United Airlines and Procter & Gamble Company.

“Research proves that minimally processed diets using quality ingredients helps improve the health and well-being of our pets, and the market continues to demand more of these premium products,” Simonds said. “It is an exciting time to join Primal, as we bring together these trusted brands with a shared commitment to significantly improving the lives of pets. I look forward to working with our more than 500 team members and our distribution and retail partners as we grow and scale our business.”

Additionally, Travis Moore has joined Primal Pet Group as chief operating officer, and Matt Koss, founder of Primal Pet Foods, has been appointed chief product officer.

Moore most recently served as supply chain engineering and operations leader at Blue Buffalo, where he oversaw the expansion of the company’s pet food and treat production capacities through capital investments. He brings proven leadership experience in expanding supply chain capability, Kinderhook stated.

Koss established Primal Pet Foods in 2001 and most recently served as president of the company, overseeing the growth of the company in the raw frozen and freeze-dried pet food space in the United States and abroad. Under his leadership, Primal Pet Foods accelerated its international expansion throughout North America, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and South Korea.

Mike Kelly has also joined the company, filling the newly created role of director of research and development and technical services at Primal Pet Group. Kelly will be tasked with managing the company’s product and process innovation. He brings more than two decades of experience to the role, including previous positions with Bil-Jac.

Current Chief Strategy Officer Matt Pirz and Chief Revenue Officer Jeff Camosci will retain their roles through this transition.

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