AMERICAN FORK, UTAH — Thrive Foods, a manufacturer of various freeze-dried products including pet foods, announced its acquisition of Canature, a freeze-dried pet food and treat producer, on Dec. 5. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Founded in 2010, Canature specializes in freeze-dried pet food, treats and ingredients under its NutriBites, UBite and Hoopla brands. The company offers customized front-end processing and highly technical freeze-drying capabilities, according to the company. Canature is headquartered in Langley, British Columbia.
Founded in 2005, Thrive Foods manufactures various freeze-dried food products, from fruits, vegetables and proteins to probiotics, enzymes, prepared meals and pet treats. The company currently operates facilities in California, Utah, New York, Wisconsin, Germany and Peru. Through its capabilities, Thrive Foods aims to serve as a technical expert and flexible manufacturing partner for its customers. It is a portfolio company of Chicago-based private equity Entrepreneurial Equity Partners (e2p) and Mubadala Capital, a subsidiary of Mubadala Investment Company.
“We are thrilled to join Thrive Foods,” said Gary Xu, founder and chief executive officer of Canature. “We have long admired Thrive’s success in the freeze-dried industry and believe significant value and synergy will be generated by combining the capabilities of our teams. e2p and Mubadala Capital have a successful history of partnering with family-held businesses and entrepreneurs and we believe they will provide us with the necessary support and expertise to achieve Canature’s next phase of growth within Thrive.”
According to Thrive Foods, the acquisition will provide it with a highly experienced technical team with extensive expertise in freeze drying. It will also provide Thrive Foods access to a state-of-the-art facility near Vancouver.
“Canature’s focus on the pet space makes this a transformative move for Thrive,” said Steve Palmer, chief executive officer of Thrive Foods. “We are confident that the combination will expand our capabilities in pet, while adding a number of new customers and channels. Gary’s vision and expertise is well-known in the freeze-drying industry and we are excited to work together.”
Thrive Foods will leverage Canature’s expertise in wet processing, which is an increasingly sought-after category within the freeze-dried pet food segment, according to the company.
“We are excited for Canature to join the Thrive Foods family,” said Ryan Schweet, partner at e2p. “This partnership with Gary and his team represents a highly strategic opportunity that will better enable us to service growing global demand for freeze-dried pet products. This acquisition will mark the third add-on for Thrive Foods since the original combination of Thrive Foods and Mercer Foods in December 2021, further displaying our commitment to creating a category leader of scale.”
The acquisition further expands Thrive Foods’ capabilities in pet. In September 2022, the company announced a new 341,000-square-foot facility to expand its capacity, and in June 2023 Thrive Foods acquired Freeze-Dry Foods in Germany.
“Since our initial investment, Mubadala Capital and e2p have been committed to utilizing our expertise and resources to support Thrive Foods’ growth,” said Adnan Azam, executive director at Mubadala Capital. “The acquisition of Canature, a company that has earned an industry-leading reputation for quality and technical expertise under Gary’s leadership, adds to Thrive’s strategy of acquiring highly complementary freeze-dried companies and represents another exciting step towards our goal of building a diversified market leader.
“When accounting for Thrive’s acquisition of Freeze-Dry Foods earlier this year, we are well on our way to building the market leader in terms of freeze-dried capacity globally, which we can leverage for the benefit of our customers, employees and other stakeholders,” he added.
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