United Pet Group Acquires Assets of Dingo Brand, LLC

 

CINCINNATI, Ohio, January 19, 2004 - United Pet Group, Inc. (UPG) announced today that it has acquired substantially all of the assets and business of Dingo Brand, LLC. Terms were not disclosed.

Based in Aiea, Hawaii, Dingo Brand, LLC markets and sells premium dog chew products under the Dingo® brand name. Dingo® products are patent protected and combine the appeal of flavorful meat jerky with chewy rawhide. Sales of Dingo products have been growing rapidly and are sold mainly through specialty pet stores and select mass merchants.

"Dingo® products are innovative and uniquely positioned as a cross category chew and snack treat item," said John Heil, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of United Pet Group. "The Dingo acquisition is consistent with our strategy of buying leading brands with strong intellectual property and a history of product innovation. We look forward to leveraging UPG's infrastructure to continue the growth of Dingo's exciting line of products."

Dingo® is UPG's second acquisition in the past six months. In June 2003, UPG completed the acquisition of Nature's Miracle®, the leading brand of dog and cat stain and odor remover products. "As with Nature's Miracle, UPG is planning to integrate the Dingo® operation into the UPG platform and build on the brand's success with new products that are logical extensions of the existing line," stated Heil.

United Pet Group, Inc.

Based in Cincinnati, Ohio, United Pet Group (UPG) is a leading manufacturer and marketer of premium pet food and supplies products for dogs, cats, fish, birds and small animals. UPG's products are sold under a number of brand names, including Eight in One®, Nature's Miracle®, Dingo®, Lazy Pet®, Marineland®, Perfecto®, Aquarium Systems®, and Jungle Talk®. Since 1997, UPG has acquired eight companies in the pet food and supplies industry. UPG is owned by TA Associates, Friend Skoler & Co. L.L.C. and management.

TA Associates

Founded in 1968, TA Associates is one of the largest and most experienced private equity firms. With offices in Boston, Menlo Park, Pittsburgh and London, TA Associates manages over $5 billion in capital and has invested in more than 330 companies. TA Associates provides growth equity capital, leveraged recapitalization and management buyout financing primarily for technology, financial services, healthcare and consumer businesses. More information about TA Associates can be found at www.ta.com.

Friend Skoler & Co., L.L.C.

Founded in 1998, Friend Skoler & Co., L.L.C. is a private equity firm that invests in leading companies in the middle market. FSC typically invests in companies having valuations between $20 million and $200 million, and typically commits $10 million to $40 million in equity per investment. Friend Skoler is headquartered in Saddle Brook, NJ. For additional information, please visit www.friendskoler.com.