Wilbur-Ellis Nutrition acquires US forage pellet business

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Martin Barraud
© GettyImages/Martin Barraud

Related tags forage pellet

Wilbur-Ellis Nutrition has acquired the forage pellet business of Ametza LLC, which is based in Holtville, California.

The Washington-based feed and ingredient business said the deal sees it tapping growth opportunities in the US retail market. Ametza manufactures and sells forage pellets for the livestock and companion animal markets through major US stores.

The acquisition sees Wilbur-Ellis Nutrition obtain pelleting, packaging and warehousing operations located just outside El Centro, California, said a spokesperson.

She declined to disclose any financial details about the deal but told this publication the company expects to retain the employees of Ametza’s pellet business.

“The expansion complements our current forage manufacturing operations in El Centro, California, located just a few miles from Ametza. Going forward, we expect to leverage our respective capabilities as we continue to invest in this business and grow our presence both domestically and internationally,”​ commented Andrew Loder, president of Wilbur-Ellis Nutrition.

Wilbur-Ellis Nutrition provides nutrition products for the livestock, pet food and aquaculture industries; it generates over US$500m in sales revenue annually and has over 30 locations across the US, Canada, New Zealand, and Japan

In December last year, Loder told us that he anticipated M&A activity in its space continuing despite the ongoing pressures on business from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Since we acquired Rangen [US livestock and aqua feed producer] in autumn 2019, we have focused on integrating them. Obviously, when COVID-19 hit, dealing with the impact of that became our main priority. We have had plenty of people come to us with [potential acquisition] opportunities, even during this year, though. I do think some companies pulled back [on M&A activity] in 2020, and so there may be pent up demand that we could see pick up in the first half of the year. Perhaps, some businesses that have struggled through the pandemic will be looking to exit for various reasons.

“We are still very active in the market and looking for new opportunities, particularly in the livestock [feed] space. Our company and our board are very supportive of us bringing good opportunities to them,“​ remarked Loder back then.

He also saw no let-up in investor interest and support for AgTech and innovative animal nutrition startups.

“Our Cavallo Ventures team [the venture capital arm of Wilbur-Ellis] has been as active as they ever have been. This year we added [endomicrobial feed additive producer] Native Microbials, formerly known as Ascus Biosciences, to our portfolio, [which also includes mastitis sensor tech provider, SomaDetect, and insect feed company, Beta Hatch]. We want to invest in those technologies that we think will give our customers a competitive edge and help them be more successful.”​ 

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