The Andersons Inc. Acquires ACJ International in Missouri

The Andersons Inc., a U.S. agribusiness based in Ohio, United States, acquired ACJ International and its subsidiaries, headquartered in Missouri, United States, on July 11, 2023. ACJ is a provider of premium and nutritious pet food ingredients. The acquisition expands The Andersons’ physical presence in the central region of the United States.

Transaction Summary

The Facts of the Acquisition

  • Target: ACJ International strives to be the premier ingredient, logistics, and supply chain management partner in the pet food and ingredient processing industry. It is based in Missouri, United States.
  • Acquirer: The Andersons Inc. is a publicly listed U.S. agriculture company based in Ohio. It mainly deals in agricultural products, ethanol, and fertilizers. The company has been expanding into the pet foods segment.

Our Take on the Acquisition

The global pet food industry is worth USD $320 billion and is expected to reach USD $493 billion by 2030, a 54% increase, according to Bloomberg. Expanding its capabilities in this market with the acquisition of ACJ International (target) would benefit The Andersons (acquirer) as the market for pet food grows. The Andersons will have to make further investments in the target’s facilities to expand capabilities.

The Transaction

Date:July 11, 2023
Purpose: To expand into the pet foods segment.
Acquirer’s Statement:Weston Heide, senior vice president of The Andersons Trade and Processing – “The pet food industry continues to increase its demand for high-quality and responsibly sourced ingredients. This acquisition expands our portfolio of ingredients while also enhancing our supply chain services throughout the central region of the US to provide further support for our customers in the pet food markets.”

Target/Seller: ACJ International

Company Information

Target:ACJ International
Industry: Pet Food Manufacturing
Type:Private, family owned
Employees:22 (Self-published on LinkedIn)
Locations:Head Office: 6897 Lake St. Louis Blvd, Louis, Missouri, United States

Product Information 

Services:Dry Ingredient Blending – Pre-mixing dry materials to exact specifications
Grinding – Grinding ingredients into powders
Logistics – Transportation of products via rail or trucks
Supply Chain Management – Handling all details for the transportation of goods
Warehouse and Fulfillment – Storage and handling of food items. Packing to meet order size
Products:Amino Acids – Organic compounds that combine to form proteins
Yeast – Strains of yeast commonly used in baking
Dairy – Food products made or derived from milk
Emulsifiers – Food additives used to help mix two substances that otherwise separate when combined
Fiber – Type of carbohydrate the body cannot break down or digest
Flavors – Additives to add different tastes
Fruits – U.S.-grown fruits
Grains and Flours – Powders produced by reducing grains to small sizes
Meats – Beef, chicken, lamb, salmon, turkey, and other meats
Nuts – Pecans and peanuts
Oils – Variety of cooking oils
Market Reach:Missouri

Financial Information 

Revenue:USD $7.8 million (Unconfirmed Source: ZoomInfo)
Revenue per Employee:USD $354,354 (i.e., USD $7.8 million / 22 employees = USD $354,354 – estimated based on the self-published number of employees and the revenue from ZoomInfo) 

Did You Know?

Dogs eat both plants and meat and require 37 essential nutrients. These are classified into six main nutrient groups: water, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. To achieve the right balance of nutrients, pet food manufacturers blend mixtures of ingredients, including meat and fish, vegetables, cereals, vitamins, and minerals to produce foods that will satisfy dogs’ nutritional requirements.

Target/Seller Overview: ACJ International

ACJ strives to be the premier ingredient, logistics, and supply chain management partner in the pet food and ingredient processing industry. It sources and supplies varieties of quality ingredients and offers them whole or ground and in bulk, totes or bags as required. Popular products include barley, yeast, peas, sweet potatoes, garbanzo beans, carrots, animal proteins, and animal meals. ACJ was founded in 2008 and is based in Missouri, United States.

Buyer/Acquirer: The Andersons Inc.

Company Information

Buyer:The Andersons Inc.
Industry: Agriculture
Type:Publicly listed company
Employees:2,283 (Source: Pitchbook)
Locations:Head office: 1947 Briarfield Blvd Maumee, Ohio, United States
Trading Office #1: 1218 West Ash Street Suite A/B, Windsor, Colorado, United States

Trading Office #2: 10975 Benson Dr., Overland Park, Kansas, United States

Trading Office #3: 41703 US Highway 2 SW, East Grand Forks, Minnesota, United States

Trading Office #4: 303 W. 19th Street, Kearney, Nebraska, United States

Trading Office #5: 13625 California St. Suite 120, Omaha, Nebraska, United States

New York
Trading Office #6: 188 Genesee St. Suite 209, Auburn, New York, United States
Trading Office #7: 582 New Loudon Rd., Latham, New York, United States

Trading Office #8: 810 Hester’s Crossing, Round Rock, Texas, United States

Trading Office #9: 128 Lakeside Ave. Suite 108, Burlington, Vermont, United States

Trading Office #10: 494 WT Hill Blvd South, Suites 21, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

Trading Office #11: Avenida Paseo Monte Miranda 16, Miranda, Queretaro, Mexico

Trading Office #12: Strada Siretului, Nr. 75, Constanta, Romania

Trading Office #14: Avenue de Rhodanie 40 D, Lausanne, Switzerland

United Kingdom
Trading Office #15: The Gallery Whittaker Avenue, Richmond, United Kingdom

Product Information 

Services:Farmer Services – Extensive selection of products and services that are vital to successful crop production
Merchandising – Merchandising of carbon, corn, beans, wheat, meal, ethanol, feed ingredients, vegetable oil, propane, fuel products, wheat middlings, cottonseed, and pet food
Products:Fertilizer – Low-salt, chloride-free liquid fertilizers
Ethanol – Refined corn ethanol for use as fuel
E-85 – Gasoline mixed with ethanol
CO2 – Liquified CO2 and dry ice
Corn Oil – Oil extracted from the germ of corn
Renewable Diesel Feedstocks – Feedstock used to produce renewable or biodiesel
Premium Ingredients – Ancient (non-modified) grains, pulses, edible beans, food corn, oats, organics, and pet food ingredients
Turf – Next-generation fertilizers, soil amendments for turf, lawn, and landscape
Market Reach:United States

Financial Information 

Market Cap:USD $1.58 billion (2023)
Revenue:USD $17.3 billion (2022)
Revenue per Employee:USD $7.6 million (i.e., USD $17.3 billion / 2,283 employees = USD $7.6 million – estimated based on the number of employees and the revenue from Pitchbook)
EBITDA:USD $386.2 million (2022)
P/E Ratio:14.36
EV/EBITDA Ratio:6.63

Buyer/Acquirer Overview: The Andersons Inc.

The Andersons was founded in 1947 as The Andersons Truck Terminal (ATT) by Harold and Margaret Anderson. ATT focused on grain elevators and a rail transfer station. In the 1950s, the company expanded its grain terminals and began fertilizer blending and then corn milling. In the 1960s, it entered the lawn products business. In the 1980s, continuing the growth of the 1970s, The Andersons opened a liquid fertilizer facility. In 1996, the company was listed on NASDAQ as it reached sales of USD $1 billion. In the 2000s, it entered the ethanol business.

The Andersons is a publicly listed agriculture company expanding into the pet foods segment.

Previous Acquisitions by The Andersons Inc.

  • Lansing Trade Group (2018) – A food trading company based in Kansas, United States
  • Purity Food (2017) – A supplier of organic food products in North America and internationally, based in Michigan, United States
  • Nature’s Legacy (2017) – An organic and conventional ancient grains processor based in Michigan, United States
  • Auburn Bean & Grain (2014) – Owner and operator of grain elevators in Michigan, United States
  • Cycle Group (2013) – A manufacturer and seller of inert granules based in North Carolina, United States
  • Mile Rail (2013) – A rail service company based in Missouri, United States
  • Thompsons Limited (2013) – Integrated supplier of value-added agriculture products and services in Ontario, Canada
  • Mt. Pulaski Products (2012) – Mt. Pulaski Products engages in custom grinding and pelletizing biomass crops and is based in Illinois, United States
  • New Eezy Gro (2012) – Manufacturer of fertilizer products, based in Ohio, United States
  • Immokalee Farmers Supply (2011) – Supplier of crop protection chemicals to the specialty vegetable market. The company is based in Florida, United States

Would you like more information on this transaction?

If there is any additional category of information you would like to see us include on future acquisition announcements, please contact us.