Harris Williams & Co. Advises Absorption Corp. in its Sale to J. Rettenmaier & Söhne

March 14, 2013

Harris Williams & Co., a preeminent middle market investment bank focused on the advisory needs of clients worldwide, announces the sale of Absorption Corp, a leading manufacturer and marketer of premium pet products, to international strategic buyer J. Rettenmaier & Söhne Group (JRS).  Absorption Corp was a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries (Kinderhook).  Harris Williams & Co. acted as the exclusive advisor to Absorption Corp.  The transaction closed on March 14, 2013 and was led by Derek Lewis from the firm’s Richmond office and Matt Conaty and David Bhattacharyya from the firm’s San Francisco office.

“The acquisition of Absorption Corp illustrates the robust demand for high-quality companies in the pet products industry, particularly those with strong brands, differentiated products and deep customer relationships,” said Derek Lewis, a managing director at Harris Williams & Co.  “We look forward to the continued success of the Absorption Corp management team in its partnership with JRS,” added Matt Conaty, a vice president in Harris Williams & Co.’s Consumer Group.

Headquartered in Ferndale, WA, Absorption Corp develops, manufactures and markets small-animal bedding, cat litter, and other pet products made primarily from sustainable, natural wood fiber.  The company’s portfolio of premium brands includes CareFRESH®, Healthy Pet® and CritterCare® and its products are sold at pet-specialty stores, mass merchandisers and grocery chains throughout North America.

Founded in 2003, Kinderhook is a private equity firm with $770 million of committed capital and an investment philosophy based on combining senior management and operating experience in a variety of industries with the financial and investment know-how of private equity professionals.  Kinderhook primarily makes control investments in companies with transaction values of $25-$100 million in which the firm can achieve significant financial, operational and growth improvements.

JRS is a leading manufacturer of high-quality organic fibers, made from plant raw material, for use in a broad range of applications within the pet care, food, nutrition, pharmaceutical, chemicals and construction industries.  JRS’ pet care offerings include pet litter and pet bedding products.  The company supplies products to customers worldwide from its 21 facilities.  JRS was founded in 1878 and is based in Rosenberg, Germany.