Central Garden & Pet unveils $20m venture fund

Central Garden & Pet has launched Central Ventures, a $20 million venture fund focused on the garden and pet industries.

Central Garden & Pet has launched Central Ventures, a $20 million venture fund focused on the garden and pet industries. Typical investments will range between $250,000 and $2 million initially.

PRESS RELEASE

WALNUT CREEK, California, December 3, 2020 — Central Garden & Pet (NASDAQ: CENT, CENTA) (“Central”) announced today that it has launched Central Ventures, a venture fund dedicated to discovering emerging businesses that are focused on innovating and shaping the future of the garden and pet industries. The fund is a key priority in the company’s new ‘Central to Home’ strategy, which was unveiled today at Central’s first Investor Day.

“At Central Garden & Pet, we know we must always be looking ahead and investing in the leaders and ideas of tomorrow to ensure we are positioned to drive the future of our industries,” said Tim Cofer, CEO of Central. “Our new ‘Central to Home’ strategy includes a renewed focus in venture that will bring exciting new products and capabilities into the organization. Additionally, we’re looking forward to teaming up with great businesses and leaders and leveraging our capabilities to help them unlock their full potential.”

Central Ventures is built on the foundation that was created over the past five years, which has led to the company’s current venture investments in successful, rising businesses like Casco Pet, Lucy Pet and Back to the Roots. The team will be led by the company’s new President of Corporate Development, Jon Balousek.

“We are excited to bring together an ecosystem of Central’s expertise, retail relationships and external entrepreneurs to drive innovation and growth,” said Balousek. “We believe our deep history of growing through acquisitions, rooted in an entrepreneur-friendly culture is ideal for creating winning partnerships.”

Central Ventures will focus on early-stage North American companies driving change and new thinking in Sustainability, Health & Wellness and Digitally Connected Products and Services. Companies backed by the fund will have access to Central’s leading go-to-market capabilities, resources, and guidance to help take their businesses to the next level. Typical investments will range between $250 thousand and $2.0 million initially, with reserves for follow-on investments.

For more information, please visit www.centralventures.com.

About Central Garden & Pet
Central Garden & Pet (NASDAQ: CENT, CENTA) understands that home is central to life and has proudly nurtured happy and healthy homes for over 40 years. With 2020 sales of $2.7 billion, Central is on a mission to lead the future of the pet and garden industries. The Company’s innovative and trusted products are dedicated to help lawns grow greener, gardens bloom bigger, pets live healthier and communities grow stronger. Central is home to a leading portfolio of more than 65 high-quality brands including Pennington, Nylabone, Kaytee, Amdro and Aqueon, strong manufacturing and distribution capabilities and a passionate, entrepreneurial growth culture. Central Garden & Pet is based in Walnut Creek, California and has over 6,300 employees across North America and Europe. For additional information about Central, please visit the Company’s website at www.central.com