General Mills Inc. is buying Wilton-based Blue Buffalo Pet Products Inc. for $8 billion. The all-cash purchase, which is priced at $40 per share, is expected to close by the end of General Mills’ fiscal 2018.Blue Buffalo was founded in 2002 and recorded $1.2 billion in net sales in fiscal year 2017. Blue Buffalo will maintain its Wilton headquarters and its CEO, Billy Bishop, will continue to lead the business and report to General Mills Chairman and CEO Jeff Harmening.
In a tweet this morning, the Bishop family wrote: “This new partnership will allow Blue Buffalo to continue to provide the finest natural foods and treats for our furry family members as well as help us develop new and exciting product innovations.
In addition, General Mills shares our single-minded focus on product quality, and fully supports our ‘giving back’ initiatives in Pet Cancer Research, and providing Service Dogs for Military Veterans.”
Harmening said, “We are competing more effectively in our existing categories by really listening to consumers and providing a variety of options that meet their needs. In pet food, as in human food, consumers are seeking more natural and premium products and we have tremendous respect for how attentive Blue Buffalo has been to the needs of their consumers, pet parents and pets, as they have built their brand. As we have done with Annie’s, Lärabar and EPIC, we expect to help Blue Buffalo by leveraging our extensive supply chain, R&D and sales & marketing resources. We will in turn benefit from their experience building one of the strongest pull brands in the CPG world.”