Jun 10, 2024

Capstone Partners Advised Ultra Pet on its Sale to Oil-Dri Corporation of America

Capstone Partners advised Ultra Pet, a leading supplier of silica gel-based crystal cat litter, on its sale to Oil-Dri Corporation of America (ODC:NYSE). The transaction closed on May 1, 2024, at a purchase price of $46 million.

Ultra Pet, headquartered in Anderson, South Carolina, is a recognized innovator and pioneer within the alternative cat litter market with annual net sales of approximately $24 million. Ultra Pet introduced the original crystal cat litter, Litter Pearls, in the United States in 1998. Since then, Ultra Pet has expanded its product offerings and has an established presence in the crystal cat litter segment. The company’s product portfolio includes brands such as Ultra Pearls, Litter Pearls, Neon Litter, EcoKitty, and ZenKitty as well as many private label offerings. Ultra Pet sells to consumers both domestically and internationally through e-commerce channels and retail stores including Amazon, Publix grocery stores, and more. Learn more about Ultra Pet here.

Our management team and principal shareholders knew from the very first meeting we wanted to work with Capstone. The Capstone team brought a high level of expertise and the support we needed to successfully find the right company to acquire Ultra Pet. Capstone came up to speed quickly, gaining a deep understanding of our business and goals, and doing a great job throughout the entire process. Capstone was instrumental in our successfully closing the transaction within the timeline we set while maximizing the value of our business.

Richard MurbachCEO, Ultra Pet

Murbach added, “Joining Oil-Dri opens up incredible opportunities for our crystal cat litter products. Oil-Dri’s strong relationships within the industry, and its proven track record in product development, operational efficiency, and collaboration with customers will enhance Ultra Pet’s growth trajectory. Our products complement each other very well, and our combined strengths will allow us to grow the business and reach even more consumers and their feline companions.”

According to Tom Elliott, Managing Director at Capstone, “Oil-Dri’s insights into cat litter trends and their scientific research motivated them to pursue Ultra Pet and its position as a leading brand in the silica gel segment. Our client’s silica sourcing expertise complemented Oil-Dri’s vertically integrated clay operations. However, this transaction came down to finding the right partner for the Ultra Pet team. Our client had an entrepreneurial management team that was great to work with and they found a good cultural fit with the team from Oil-Dri.”

Oil-Dri Corporation of America, founded in 1941, is a leading manufacturer and supplier of specialty sorbent products for the pet care, animal health and nutrition, fluids purification, agricultural ingredients, sports field, industrial and automotive markets. Oil-Dri’s largest principal product is cat litter. Within the United States, Oil-Dri is the leading manufacturer of lightweight cat litter with brands including Cat’s Pride and Jonny Cat.

Christopher Lamson, Oil-Dri’s Group Vice President of Retail and Wholesale, said of the transaction, “We plan to leverage our strong relationships within the grocery, mass merchandiser, and other growth channels to help increase sales of Ultra Pet’s unique crystal litter products. Our sales and marketing teams are eager to work alongside the Ultra Pet team to propel these value-added items into the marketplace. We expect this combination to create more availability of Ultra Pet products for the consumer and generate greater efficiencies for our retail customers.” Lamson added, “We found Capstone’s industry knowledge and principled approach key to getting the deal completed.”

The expert investment banking professionals on Capstone Partners’ Pet Care Team work with leading middle market companies operating in the Pet space.  In addition to our advisory work on exit transactions, the Pet Care Team also works with business owners on their strategic decision-making and positioning in order to maximize financial outcomes in the future.  As a firm, Capstone has developed a full suite of corporate finance solutions, including M&A advisory, debt advisory, financial advisory, and equity capital financing to help privately owned businesses and private equity firms address any need, ranging from growth and financial or operational advisement to an ultimate exit transaction. To learn more about this transaction, or about the benefits of starting a relationship with our Consumer Investment Banking Team, contact us here.