San Luis Obispo, CA - December 30, 2014
Cloud Star, a leader in the natural, minimally processed pet treat category announced it is merging with the Tiki brands of Petropics Gourmet Whole Foods, a leader in the gourmet pet food category.
Founded in 2005 by Christine and Robert Hackett, Petropics markets cat and dog gourmet whole food under the Tiki Cat® and Tiki Dog™ brands. Created to mirror the nutrient profile of natural prey, Tiki was the first true gourmet pet food to hit the market, featuring grain-free, human grade, whole shredded or sliced meats and seafood.
“Since our inception, our company has pioneered the new gourmet whole food category. Tiki has seen phenomenal growth thanks to the support of independent pet specialty retailers and distributors. We know that Tiki’s best days are still ahead, and we feel a merger with the Cloud Star team is the best way for the Tiki brands to reach their full potential,” said Christine Hackett.
Cloud Star was founded in 1999 when Jennifer Melton adopted her dog Samantha. Samantha was a picky eater and was prone to allergies. Frustrated by available commercial products at the time, Jennifer ended up baking her own treats. The company has since expanded to include a wide variety of wholesome and natural dog and cat treats under the
Cloud Star®, Wag More Bark Less® and Buddy Biscuits® brands.
The combined companies will now operate under the name Whitebridge Pet Brands (WPB) and will be led by CEO Olivier Amice who joined Cloud Star in July 2014. “I am very excited that Cloud Star and Tiki are merging. The two companies share the same passion for providing natural, wholesome and minimally processed nutrition to dogs and cats, but they also share the same culture of always trying to do the right thing for pets, customers and their team members. Merging the two companies will allow us to leverage our combined structure to better service our distributors and retailers,” said Amice.
WPB’s portfolio will include Tiki Cat®, Tiki Dog™, Cloud Star®, Buddy Biscuits® and Wag More Bark Less®. All brands will continue with their “pet first” philosophy and each brand will keep its own identity, purpose and channel strategy.
In addition to Olivier Amice, the company recently added several executive positions to support WPB’s growth: Matt Davis (Sales VP), Jessika Zulic (Marketing Director), Scott Loudenback (Operations VP), Mary Czapeczka (CFO).
The founders of Cloud Star and Petropics will continue to advise the Whitebridge Pet Brands management team and will remain shareholders. Whitebridge Pet Brands, LLC is backed by Frontenac Company.
Frontenac is a leading private equity firm, based in Chicago. The firm focuses on investing in lower middle market buyout transactions in the food, industrial, and services industries. Frontenac works in partnership with proven operating leaders, through our executive-centric approach called CEO1ST, to identify, acquire, and build market leading companies through transformational acquisitions and operational excellence. The firm has built a leading franchise working with over 225 owners of mid-sized businesses, almost always families or founders, as they address complex transition issues of liquidity, management enhancement, and growth planning. For more information, please visit www.frontenac.com.