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J.M. Smucker Co. (NYSE: SJM) will pay $1.9 billion in cash to acquire Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, a Pennsylvania pet food maker whose brands include Rachel Ray Dog Food, from shareholders like private equity firm Catterton Partners.
Why it's a big deal: Three makes a trend, and this is the third major U.S. food-maker to buy a pet-related business for the sake of revenue stream diversification (General Mills/Blue Buffalo and Mars/VCA).
- Smucker also confirmed that it is exploring a sale of its bakery business, which includes Pillsbury.
More from Bloomberg: "Smucker is coping with a consumer shift away from longstanding supermarket staples, a trend that contributed to a sales decline last year. In this tough environment for human fare, dog and cat food has been a bright spot -- especially as Americans increasingly treat their animals like family members."