Thursday, August 27, 2015

Flexible packaging companies Prolamina, Ampac merge

Wellspring Capital Management L.L.C., a New York-based private equity firm, has created a leading flexible packaging company through the merger of portfolio companies Prolamina Corp. and newly acquired Ampac Holdings L.L.C. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The combined company, which will be headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, will have a strategic geographical footprint and enhanced product offering unparalleled in the industry. Ampac’s range of adhesive lamination, rotogravure printing capabilities and innovative packaging solutions is highly complementary to Prolamina’s cost advantageous extrusion lamination and flexographic printing technology.
John E. Morningstar, a managing partner of Wellspring who leads the firm’s activities in the packaging sector, said: “We are excited about the acquisition of Ampac and the combination with Prolamina to form a clear industry leader. The merger brings together two flexible packing industry leaders both known for innovation, customer service and quality. Both companies, along with their respective management teams, have a proven track record of performance and will pursue a variety of new initiatives to further enhance their product offerings — adding value to their customers’ bottom line and increasing market opportunities.”
Matthew Harrison, a principal of Wellspring, said: “The acquisition of Ampac and its combination with Prolamina reflects the attractiveness of the global packaging industry. We believe there is increasing growth potential in the sector given the shift towards flexible packaging solutions driven by shifting consumer demands. We’ve been pleased to invest in this industry over the past several years and are excited to increase our participation through this expanded platform, which will serve broad and diverse markets.”
Greg Tucker, CEO of Prolamina, will assume the role of CEO for the merged company. Tucker said: “The combination of Prolamina and Ampac’s complementary capabilities and assets will enable the combined company to reach new levels of success, establishing it as a leader in the global packaging industry. I’m honored to lead a company with over 2,000 dedicated team members and 16 facilities worldwide with exceptional manufacturing scale to meet the growing needs of our valued customers. We are committed to providing creative packaging solutions, industry-leading customer commitment and award-winning innovation in a diverse global marketplace.”
Alvarez & Marsal Capital Partners participated in the transaction as a direct investor in the combined business. Certain members of the management team have also invested additional capital in the transaction alongside Wellspring.
William Blair acted as the lead financial adviser, and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison L.L.P. and Jones Day acted as legal counsel to Wellspring.
 Lincoln International acted as the lead financial adviser to Ampac Holdings L.L.C.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

3 pet food updates for the week ending August 24

1. Petco files for initial public offering: Petco Holdings Inc. has filed for an initial public offering of stock. The company indicated it would seek to raise US$100 million, which is likely a placeholder amount that will change.
2. Flexible packaging companies Prolamina, Ampac merge: Wellspring Capital Management L.L.C., a New York-based private equity firm, has created a leading flexible packaging company through the merger of portfolio companies Prolamina Corp. and newly acquired Ampac Holdings L.L.C. Financial terms were not disclosed.
3. Charlee Bear to sponsor pet adoption tour: Charlee Bear Dog Products, maker of the original Charlee Bear Dog Treats and grain-free Bear Crunch Dog Treats, will sponsor FIDO Friendly magazine’s 7th annual Get Your Licks on Route 66 month-long pet adoption tour. The cross-country series of events begins September 11 at the Western Riverside County/City Animal Shelter in Riverside, California, USA. 

Survey examines US pet food spending

A recent Nielsen survey conducted by Harris Poll looked at how much money Americans spent on pet food in the past year. The English-language survey polled 2,205 US adults, 1,323 of whom have at least one pet.
Some of the survey findings:
US pet food spending
  • Dog food: US$9.5 billion, US$2.6 million of which is spent on treats
  • Cat food: US$4.9 billion, US$476 million of which is spent on treats
  • Bird food: US$571 million
  • Other pet food: US$115 million
  • Fish food: US$60 million
US pet spending, non-food
  • Cat litter: US$1.8 billion
  • Dog control: US$250.1 million
  • Litter supplies: US$136.3 million
  • Bowls: US$66.8 million
  • Houses and carriers: US$60.5 million
  • Brushes: US$11.2 million
  • Aquatic supplies: US$4.7 million

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Company sheds light on stored product insects

McCloud Services, a leading pest management company servicing Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, Ohio and Wisconsin, is generating awareness on stored product insects (SPIs) and the threat they cause to grain-based foods, especially pet foods. Common SPIs include indianmeal moth, warehouse beetles and cigarette beetles and they live in the food they are eating. If populations grow, they can be difficult to control.
According to McCloud Services, pet stores and the pet section of retail stores have a huge challenge on their hands as a large majority of their product is grain-based pet food, which is highly susceptible to SPIs. SPIs can be difficult to detect as they are very small, typically 1/8” to 1/4” long.
“Grain-based stored product foods, such as dog food, are vulnerable to pest populations from the moment it was created in the food processing plant, to the moment it is used. At any point along the food’s ‘life,’ it can be infested,” said Anna Getchell, operations process manager at McCloud Services.
Mitigating the risk can seem overwhelming by considering the path the food takes and all the points in which it’s vulnerable to SPIs, from the manufacturer and transporter, to the retail store and ultimately the consumer.
“Sanitation, exclusion and monitoring are all very important for prevention. SPIs don’t need much food in order to survive, just a handful of dog food trapped behind a pallet rack leg can house a population of warehouse beetles for months. Pheromone-based monitoring tools are typically the most effective, quickly letting us know if there’s a population that needs to be controlled. Looking at their environment is also important, such as the temperature and shelf life of the product as well,” added Getchell.
 McCloud Services discusses the severity of SPIs and prevention methods in its white paper “Keeping Pet Food from Becoming Pest Food,” detailing the journey pet food takes through its life, how it becomes susceptible to stored product pests and ways to mitigate the risk including sanitation, exclusion, monitoring, temperate controls, shelf life and other prevention methods.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Apply for Alltech’s Career Development Program

The world could be at the fingertips of students from around the world through the fourth annual Alltech Corporate Career Development Program. Now accepting online applications from Aug. 17 to Sept. 30, Alltech invites recent graduates of bachelor’s or master’s degree programs to apply for the program, which will begin in February for the 2016 group.
Exciting opportunities are available for 10 high-caliber university graduates hoping to work with experts in the fields of science, aquaculture, agriculture, marketing, sales, veterinary science, information technology, business and biotechnology. Alltech aims to develop future leaders in the agricultural industry and values long-term talent development through the Alltech Corporate Career Development Program, which started in 2012. The animal health and nutrition company has a presence in 128 countries globally and is set to grow into a $4 billion business within the next several years.
“This is a life-changing opportunity for recent graduates to interact with colleagues from other countries, develop both their technical and interpersonal skills, and share their fresh ideas,” said Dr. Aoife Lyons, director of educational initiatives for Alltech. “Previous Career Development Program members have worked in variety of areas, including internal auditing for Latin America, coordinating Alltech educational initiative efforts and developing the crop science market in Germany. We strive to match successful applicants’ interests with Alltech’s global needs.”
The 12-month, salaried mentorship program will begin with an intensive training period at Alltech’s global headquarters in Nicholasville, Kentucky, USA, where graduates will study topics including sustainable energy, communications, marketing and international business. After this, they will continue training and development while simultaneously managing key company projects in one of the company’s global offices, guided and mentored by senior management.
Cody Hutchins of the United States was accepted into the program last year and is now working in Beijing, China, on multiple projects. One of these is a new partnership with five leading companies to create a sustainable pork farm. He is also assisting with a business strategy for the aquaculture and algae markets in China.
“My experience in Alltech has been amazing, and I am continually impressed with the passionate culture that makes the company thrive,” Hutchins said. “Alltech does a great job of empowering individuals to act quickly on opportunities, and the result is a fast-paced, fun and exciting environment. If you want to join in solving some of the world’s most challenging issues, while traveling and learning by experience, definitely apply for this program.”
 Interested graduates are invited to apply during the application window of Aug. 17-Sept. 30 via the Alltech Career Development Program website. Applicants should be strong team players, with excellent communication skills and fluent in English, with another language as an added advantage.

Friday, August 21, 2015

AFIA adds new certifying body for FSC36 Safe Feed/Safe Food

The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) recently added SGS North America as a certifying body for FSC36 Safe Feed/Safe Food. SGS is the fourth certifying body recognized by AFIA to complete FSC36 Safe Feed/Safe Food audits.
"We are excited to add a well-recognized company such as SGS North America as a certifying body for facilities seeking FSC36 Safe Feed/Safe Food certification," said Henry Turlington, AFIA director of quality and manufacturing regulatory affairs. "This addition to the certifying bodies already offered -- Eurofins, NSF International, and Validus -- provides our members and the total feed industry with a variety of choices for optimal food and feed safety."
FSC36 Safe Feed/Safe Food is administered by the Safe Quality Food Institute and is designed primarily for North American feed manufacturers and ingredient suppliers. The program promotes the fundamentals for compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act.
"FSC36 is designed to help the industry prepare for the changes accompanied by the Food Safety Modernization Act," Turlington added.
SGS also completes the other Safe Feed/Safe Food certifications: FSC34 Manufacture of Animal Feeds; FSC32 Manufacture of Pet Food; and International Safe Feed/Safe Food. The certifying body is a world leader with 130 years of experience in food safety audits and certifications around the world and supports audits and certifications in a variety of quality and food safety systems in multiple industries.
 AFIA's Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program was launched in 2004 to promote quality and feed safety within the feed industry. The program is beneficial to both feed manufacturers and feed ingredient suppliers.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Study: Pet food particle size can affect digestibility

The Association for Pet Obesity says 53% of dogs and 58% of cats in the US are overweight, and 90% of pet owners don’t know their pets are overweight.
A recent study found that pet food particle size can affect digestibility. In the study, 54 beagles were fed maize, rice or sorghum in fine, medium or coarsely ground nuggets. Size made a difference in the maize and sorghum nuggets, but not rice.
Researchers said: “if properly processed, maize and sorghum are as easily digested as rice-based food,” and that dog food companies should examine reducing particle size.
The research found rice is easily digested and the processing doesn’t matter as much. But maize and sorghum are "dependent on a proper raw material particle size and need to be appropriately extruded to produce highly digestible foods."
A problem in the extrusion process is that most pet food manufacturers “have only one grinding condition for all recipes, and do not change the extrusion size based on the type of cereal used.”