CD&R to acquire pet products specialist

Funds managed by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) are to acquire Radio Systems Corporation, a specialist in the companion pet health and safety market. Terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

Founded in 1991 by entrepreneur Randy Boyd, Radio Systems Corporation designs and distributes more than 2,000 pet products under brand names such as Invisible Fence, PetSafe, ScoopFree, SportDOG, and Kurgo, among others. Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, the company has more than 800 employees worldwide that help the company reach consumers across the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

Radio Systems holds the No1 market position by sales in many of the pet categories it serves, including pet containment, pet doors, pet training, and pet waste management, supported by the company’s innovation capabilities and commitment to delivering product solutions that enhance the safety and wellbeing of pets. Radio Systems’ strong positioning is further augmented by its broad patent portfolio as well as its unique capabilities in marketing, merchandising and distribution. The company’s products are widely distributed in a channel-agnostic manner, with strong presence across e-commerce, bricks & mortar retail, and the company’s own direct-to-consumer portal.

As Radio Systems transitions to new ownership, Randy Boyd, Founder and Chairman, has agreed to serve on the Board of Directors to maintain continuity and the company’s strong ties to the Knoxville community. 

“With the backing of CD&R and the talented team at Radio Systems, I’m confident the company will continue to deliver the best solutions and services available to its customers,” says Boyd. “I’m excited for Radio System’s future growth and the success and benefits it will bring to our employees, pet owners, and our local economy.”

“The market for pet care is large and growing with attractive long-term secular tailwinds and demonstrated recession-resilience. We believe Radio Systems’ business model and channels align well with our experience with similarly positioned consumer companies,” says CD&R Partner Kenneth Giuriceo. “We look forward to supporting the company’s continued innovation and exciting growth plans.” 

“Radio Systems is a differentiated market leader with a talented management team, dedicated, hard-working employees, a product portfolio that pet owners truly value, and a three-decade track record of product-driven innovation and strong overall results,” says CD&R Operating Partner John Compton. “We believe Radio Systems is a great fit with CD&R’s experience helping businesses prosper over the long term.”

The Radio Systems Board of Directors, which ran a competitive process and entertained multiple offers to find the right partner, unanimously approved the transaction. Upon the closing, expected around June 2020, Compton, a Knoxville, TN resident, will become Chairman of Radio System Corporation’s Board of Directors. Compton is the former President of PepsiCo and serves as Chairman of three other CD&R portfolio companies: American Greetings Corporation, Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare, and TruGreen Corporation. In addition, he serves on the Board of Directors of First Horizon National Corporation.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is acting as legal advisor, and UBS Investment Bank, BMO Capital Markets Corp, BNP Paribas Securities Corp, and Fifth Third are serving as financial advisors to CD&R. Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP served as legal advisor to Radio Systems.