Headquartered in Mt. Pleasant, Texas, Mid America Pet Food (“Mid America” or the “Company”) is a leading pet food marketer and manufacturer of VICTOR® Super Premium Pet Food (“VICTOR”). Originally serving the farm & feed channel, VICTOR offers reliable pet nutrition at a common-sense value and is recognized as a trusted nutrition source for pet owners across the country.
In late 2013, Trinity Hunt Partners (“THP”) was preparing to sell CJ Foods, a leading contract manufacturer of super premium pet food and treats. Seeking to build upon its experience in the pet industry, THP was actively searching for another investment in the sector and arranged a meeting with Scott Glover, Mid America’s founder. At that time, Mid America was growing rapidly, and the founder recognized that significant investments would be required in production capacity, human capital, and IT systems to keep pace with demand. However, the founder had never seriously considered bringing in an outside investor. As discussions continued in 2014, the founder grew comfortable that an experienced capital partner not only could reduce his own personal financial risk but also could accelerate the growth of the Company. Given THP’s extensive experience and strong reputation in the pet industry, the founder entered into a partnership with Trinity Hunt to build the premier independently owned and vertically integrated branded pet food manufacturer in the United States.
Post-closing, THP and the management team implemented a Value Creation Plan (“VCP”) to (1) dramatically expand VICTOR’s distribution footprint into other channels such as e-Commerce and independent pet, (2) build a best-in-class, professional management team, (3) expand production capacity to ensure that 100% of Mid-America’s kibble could be produced in-house in a state-of-the-art facility, (4) implement enhanced IT and ERP systems to position the business for scale, (5) enhance marketing and branding and (6) develop an SQF-certified food safety program to underpin the strong nutritional quality for which VICTOR is known.
Out of the gate, Mid America hit the ground running. Supported by investment in the sales team, the Company added new distributors across the U.S. allowing VICTOR access to new independent pet stores. Management also forged relationships with leading online retailers such as Chewy and Amazon, positioning VICTOR for expansion in the fast-growing e-Commerce channel. A new production line and high-speed packaging system were installed – the first step in a series of capital investments that ultimately increased production capacity by more than five-fold.
As growth continued and the founder was ready to step back from day-to-day operations, pet industry veteran, Greg Cyr, was brought onboard as CEO to deploy the full resources of THP’s VCP toolkit, fueling the next phase of Mid America’s dramatic growth. The management team, which now included a new CFO, VP of Sales, VP of Marketing and VP of Regulatory Affairs & Human Resources, delivered on multiple key initiatives, including: refresh of packaging across the VICTOR product portfolio; implementation of a new ERP system, NetSuite; launch of coordinated SEO & social media marketing campaigns to raise brand awareness; development of a new brand, Eagle Mountain Pet Food, and two new Victor Realtree formulas which included the Realtree-licensed camo bags; and expansion of VICTOR into larger regional and national retail chains, which culminated in a relationship with Tractor Supply established in 2020 – solidifying VICTOR’s position as a national brand!
The results of the VCP were truly transformational. During THP’s investment period, Mid America increased retail store penetration from 1,200 to over 8,000 stores, maintained a flawless food-safety track record with 4 & 5-star rated premium diets, and achieved a seven-fold increase in EBITDA – all driven by organic growth during the 6+ year partnership. In late 2020, the Company was sold to TA Associates, which generated an extremely successful outcome for all stakeholders including the founder, Mid America’s management team, and Trinity Hunt.