May 5, 2010 / 4:07 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-P&G set to buy Natura Pet Products

* P&G to buy privately-held Natura Pet Products

* Sees deal closing in about a month

* Move expands P&G’s pet food beyond Iams, Eukanuba

CHICAGO, May 5 (Reuters) - Procter & Gamble Co (PG.N) has signed a deal to buy privately held Natura Pet Products Inc, a move that will let the maker of Iams and Eukanuba products expand into the holistic and natural segment of the pet food market.

The acquisition may surprise some industry watchers who had wondered in the past if pet food was a business P&G would exit. The business, a relatively small one for P&G, has not performed as well as other parts of the consumer product maker’s $79 billion portfolio.

Natura, based in Davis, Calif., sells products under the Innova, Evo, California Natural, Healthwise, Mother Nature and Karma brands in some specialty pet stores and through veterinarians, mainly in the United States and Canada.

P&G said it plans to close the acquisition of Natura, which has about 140 employees, in a month or so. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Last week, P&G reported a 6 percent drop in quarterly organic sales of snacks and pet care items, which strip out the impact of acquisitions, divestitures and foreign exchange rates. The snacks and pet care business, which also includes the Pringles brand, was the company’s only unit to post a decline in organic sales. (Reporting by Jessica Wohl; editing by Andre Grenon)

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