NEW YORK (AP) — Blue Buffalo Pet Products, which has seen its sales skyrocket as health-conscious consumers look for healthier foods for their pets as well, is filing for an initial public offering worth up to $500 million.
The Wilton, Connecticut-based company makes dry and wet food and snacks in a variety of styles and says it uses only natural ingredients. Some are designed specifically for pets of different sizes and ages and for animals with dietary problems. In recent years consumers have migrated toward foods that are seen as fresher and more natural, causing food companies and restaurants to cut down on some artificial ingredients. Blue Buffalo said consumers are also buying healthier, more natural foods for their pets.
In a form filed Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Blue Buffalo Pet Products Inc. reported net income of $101.9 million in 2014. Revenue last year was $917.8 million, up from $94 million in 2009.
Despite that rapid growth, the company disclosed that its revenue has been hurt by big discounts in the last two years. Blue Buffalo is also is the middle of a court battle with competitor Nestle Purina. The companies have accused each other of lying about the use of natural ingredients in their dog food, and Blue Buffalo is also alleging defamation.
The company plans to list its shares on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol "BUFF." It did not say how many shares it plans to sell. Investment firm Invus LP holds most of the voting power in Blue Buffalo and will maintain control of the company after its IPO. However Blue Buffalo Pet Products said up to 5 percent of the shares will be reserved for company employees, customers, individual investors and others, who will be able to buy the stock without paying fees.