Thrive Freeze Dry Acquires Canature

Thrive Freeze Dry, a manufacturer of freeze-dried products, today announced that it has acquired Canature, (or the “Company”), a producer of freeze-dried pet food and treats. Thrive Freeze Dry is a portfolio company of Entrepreneurial Equity Partners (“e2p”), a Chicago-based private equity firm focused on the food and consumer packaged goods industries and Mubadala Capital, the wholly-owned asset management subsidiary of Mubadala Investment Company, a leading global sovereign investor headquartered in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 2010 and headquartered in Langley, British Columbia, Canada, Canature offers its customers customized front-end processing, as well as highly technical freeze-drying capabilities.  Canature has developed an excellent reputation for producing high-quality freeze-dried pet food, pet treats and ingredients for a variety of customers and channels under the highly successful brands NutriBites, UBite and Hoopla.

Thrive Freeze Dry is a manufacturer of freeze-dried products, including fruits, vegetables, proteins, pet treats, probiotics, enzymes and prepared meals. Thrive currently has facilities in California, Utah, New York, Wisconsin, Germany and Peru. Thrive prides itself on its ability to serve as a technical expert and flexible manufacturing partner for customers.

With the investment in Canature, Thrive Freeze Dry will gain a highly experienced technical team with significant expertise in freeze drying as well as a state-of-the-art facility near Vancouver. Additionally, Canature has developed a core competency in front-end wet processing, which is increasingly sought after in the rapidly growing freeze-dried pet category.

Gary Xu, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Canature, commented, “We are thrilled to join Thrive Freeze Dry. We have long admired Thrive’s success in the freeze-dried industry and believe significant value and synergy will be generated by combining the capabilities of our teams. e2p and Mubadala Capital have a successful history of partnering with family-held businesses and entrepreneurs and we believe they will provide us with the necessary support and expertise to achieve Canature’s next phase of growth within Thrive.”

“Canature’s focus on the pet space makes this a transformative move for Thrive,” said Steve Palmer, Chief Executive Officer of Thrive Freeze Dry. “We are confident that the combination will expand our capabilities in pet, while adding a number of new customers and channels. Gary’s vision and expertise is well-known in the freeze-drying industry and we are excited to work together.”

Ryan Schweet, e2p Partner said, “We are excited for Canature to join the Thrive Freeze Dry family. This partnership with Gary and his team represents a highly strategic opportunity that will better enable us to service growing global demand for freeze-dried pet products. This acquisition will mark the third add-on for Thrive Foods since the original combination of Thrive Foods and Mercer Foods in December 2021, further displaying our commitment to creating a category leader of scale.”

Adnan Azam, Executive Director at Mubadala Capital, added, “Since our initial investment, Mubadala Capital and e2p have been committed to utilizing our expertise and resources to support Thrive Freeze Dry’s growth. The acquisition of Canature, a company that has earned an industry-leading reputation for quality and technical expertise under Gary’s leadership, adds to Thrive’s strategy of acquiring highly complementary freeze-dried companies and represents another exciting step towards our goal of building a diversified market leader. When accounting for Thrive’s acquisition of Freeze-Dry Foods (Germany) earlier this year, we are well on our way to building the market leader in terms of freeze-dried capacity globally, which we can leverage for the benefit of our customers, employees and other stakeholders.”

Mayer Brown LLP and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP acted as legal counsel, and FTI Consulting as transaction advisor for e2p and Mubadala Capital.

McMillan LLP and K&L Gates LLP acted as legal counsel, and Shaughnessy Advisory, Maple City Advisors and KPMG acted as transaction and financial advisors for Canature.