US freeze-dried food producer Thrive Foods has acquired Canadian pet food company Canature for an undisclosed fee.

Thrive Foods will gain a freeze-drying facility near Vancouver in Canada as part of the deal, as well as “a core competency in front-end wet processing” from Canature.

Founded in 2010 and headquartered in Langley, British Columbia, Canature produces freeze-dried pet food, pet treats and ingredients under the brands NutriBites, UBite and Hoopla.

Thrive Foods manufactures freeze-dried products including fruits, vegetables and pet food. It is backed by Entrepreneurial Equity Partners (E2P) – a Chicago-based private-equity firm focused on the CPG industry – and Mubadala Capital, the asset management subsidiary of Mubadala Investment Company.

The company has facilities in California, Utah, New York and Wisconsin, as well as in Germany and Peru.

Gary Xu, the founder and CEO of Canature, said: “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.

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“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.”

Steve Palmer, CEO of Thrive Foods, said the deal would “expand our capabilities in pet food, while adding a number of new customers and channels”.

He added: “Canature’s focus on the pet space makes this a transformative move for Thrive.”

Ryan Schweet, E2P partner said, “This partnership with Gary Xu and his team represents a highly strategic opportunity that will better enable us to service growing global demand for freeze-dried pet products.”

The acquisition marks the third deal for Thrive Foods since the original merger of Thrive Foods and Mercer Foods in December 2021.

In June, it acquired Groneweg Group, otherwise known as Freeze-Dry Foods, a global manufacturer and supplier of freeze- and air-dried ingredients

Meanwhile, E2P made two investments earlier this year. In July, the private-equity firm snapped up baked goods group MBC Companies without disclosing financial details. Before that, it added Canadian garlic bread producer Furlani Foods to its portfolio.