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Central Garden Buys Horse Pill Maker

The Farnam deal sets it back $287 million.
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Central Garden & Pet (CENT) - Get Central Garden & Pet Company Reportagreed to acquire Phoenix-based horse health care company Farnam for $287 million, plus $4 million for the purchase of related real property.

Farnam makes health care products primarily for horses, household pets and livestock sold through over-the-counter and veterinary channels, Central Garden said. "In addition to the internationally recognized Farnam umbrella brand, Farnam's portfolio of industry leading brands includes Equicare, ComboCare, IverCare, Endure, and Repel-X for horses; D-Worm, BioSpot and Scratchex for household pets; and Adams and Bite Free insect controls for home and yard care," the Walnut Creek, Calif., pet care company said.

"The strategic acquisition of Farnam and its extensive portfolio of highly efficacious animal health care products propels Central into the leadership position in the equine marketplace, and provides us with a significantly stronger presence in the broader animal health care industry," said CEO Glenn Novotny. "Farnam and Wellmark International, Central's wholly owned subsidiary, will combine to form a new, industry leading animal health strategic business unit. The mission of the new strategic business unit is to launch new, innovative products that, we believe, will further enhance our leadership position in active ingredient based products and technologies for animal health."

In its fiscal year ended Nov. 30, Farnam generated net sales of $160 million. The acquisition is expected to be earnings neutral for fiscal 2006. The transaction is expected to close in Central's second fiscal quarter ending March 2006 and is subject to satisfaction of regulatory requirements and other customary closing conditions.

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