Belgium-based United Petfood has entered the US by acquiring an Indiana production plant from the Wellness Pet Company.

The purchase price for the factory in Mishawaka was not disclosed as the Belgium company said the deal “represents a landmark moment for United Petfood as it marks the company’s first manufacturing plant in the United States”.

Wellness Pet Company will transition production to another one of its facilities.

Just Food understands that United Petfood will keep on the employees at the Mishawaka plant.

United Petfood said in a statement that the “strategic move to establish local production in the US signifies a pivotal step in solidifying its presence in this key market”.

According to the business, it has a long history of “extensive export activities”.

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Elodie Fleury, vice president of the Americas at United Petfood, said: “We see tremendous opportunities for growth and collaboration and are excited about the potential for synergies between our operations across different continents.

“This acquisition allows us to better serve our American customers with locally produced, high-quality pet food.”

Reed Howlett, CEO of Wellness Pet added: “We’re pleased United Petfood will assume ownership of the Mishawaka facility. This will ensure a smooth transition for our team members who have been working at the facility and part of the Wellie family for many years.”

Howlett said Wellness Pet acquired a “substantially larger facility in 2022 in Decatur, Arkansas, which is well-suited to support the company’s growth in the near and medium term”.

In January 2024, United Petfood announced it had signed a share purchase agreement for the acquisition of Vital Petfood Group in Ølgod, Denmark.

Also last year, the pet-food company snapped up Netherlands-based De Haan Petfood, a producer of wet dog and cat food.

United Petfood also took a stake in Turkish peer Lider Pet Food, reportedly the largest pet-food producer in Turkey with 13 different brands.

In December 2022, United Petfood added to its factory network by acquiring two pet-food facilities in Poland and Hungary from US agri-food heavyweight Cargill for an undisclosed sum. Before that, it acquired a factory in south-west France from French food company Neodis Group.