New York, NY, and Lancaster, PA — October 19, 2020 — Vestar Capital Partners, a leading U.S. middle-market private equity firm, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell Woodstream, a leading manufacturer and marketer of branded pest and animal control products, to Bansk Group. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2020, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Woodstream is a North-American leader in pest and animal control, electronic animal containment, and lawn and garden products, under brands such as Victor®, Terro®, Dynatrap®, Safer®, Havahart®, Mosquito Magnet®, Perky-Pet®, and Zareba®. Its products are sold at more than 100,000 retail locations and online. Headquartered in Lancaster, PA, Woodstream has manufacturing operations in Lititz, PA and Knoxville, TN and a broad distribution footprint with strategically located facilities across North America.
During Vestar’s ownership, the Company significantly increased its strategic focus on the pest and animal control segment of its portfolio, which included divesting and discontinuing certain non-core assets, and acquiring DynaTrap, a leading provider of flying insect traps, last year. Under the leadership of CEO Miguel Nistal and his management team, who will remain with Woodstream post-close, the Company invested behind meaningful operational improvements, developed industry-leading innovation, and enhanced its e-commerce capabilities.
“Woodstream has achieved double-digit growth in sales and has become a more strategic, consumer-driven organization over the last five years with Vestar’s support, but there’s still more to be done,” said Mr. Nistal. “Our strategy of investing behind product innovation has put the company on a strong growth trajectory, and I am grateful to the Woodstream management team, our Board of Directors and the Vestar partners for their dedication to the company. It’s an exciting time at Woodstream, and we look forward to our next chapter under Bansk’s ownership.”
“We view Woodstream as an attractive long term platform in the growing and on-trend pest and animal control category,” said Brian O’Connor, Senior Partner and Chief Investment Officer at Bansk. “We look forward to working with Miguel and the management team to accelerate the investment behind the business to take advantage of the compelling market opportunity.”
“Miguel and his management team provided expert leadership that helped transform Woodstream from a disparate collection of assets into a strategic portfolio of branded pest and animal control solutions,” said Winston Song, Managing Director at Vestar. “We believe Woodstream will continue to flourish under Miguel and the Bansk Group, and we wish them the best of luck.”
Kirkland & Ellis LLP acted as the legal advisor and Goldman Sachs and William Blair co-led the transaction for Woodstream and Vestar. Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP served as the legal advisor and Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC as the financial advisor to Bansk, and Ares Management Corporation provided the committed financing for the transaction.
Woodstream is a leading manufacturer and marketer of a broad portfolio of branded pest control, electronic animal containment, and lawn & garden products, under brands such as Victor®, Terro®, DynaTrap®, Safer®, Havahart®, Mosquito Magnet®, Perky-Pet®, and Zareba® , among others. The company’s products, which have leading market share positions within their respective segments, are sold at more than 100,000 retail locations and to professional pest control providers throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other international markets. For more information, please visit https://www.woodstream.com/.
About Bansk Group
Bansk is a private investment group focused on growth companies and has approximately $1.5 billion in assets under management. Bansk was founded by Bart Becht, the former CEO of Reckitt Benckiser, who is also a Senior Partner and the Chairman of the Group.
About Vestar Capital Partners
Vestar Capital Partners is a leading U.S. middle-market private equity firm specializing in management buyouts and growth capital investments. Vestar invests and collaborates with incumbent management teams and private owners to build long-term enterprise value, with a focus on Consumer, Business & Technology Services and Healthcare. Since its founding in 1988, Vestar funds have invested $7 billion in 83 companies – as well as more than 200 add-on acquisitions – with a total value of approximately $50 billion. For more information on Vestar, please visit www.vestarcapital.com.