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Iams pet food brand to get new owner

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Mars Inc. plans to buy popular pet food brands Iams, Eukanuba and Natura from Proctor & Gamble, the two companies announced April 9.

If approved by regulators, the $2.9 billion deal is expected to be concluded in the second half of 2014.

Mars, based in McLean, Va., said the acquisition will complement its other pet food brands, including Nutro, Pedigree, Royal Canin and Whiskas. The company also owns Greenies pet treats and the Banfield Pet Hospital chain.

Proctor & Gamble, of Cincinnati, said it is leaving the pet food business to focus on other product lines. It also said the sale covers North America and Latin America but not Europe, where it is developing “alternate plans” to sell its pet care business.

The announcement comes less than two months after another major pet food maker, Del Monte Foods, changed its name to Big Heart Pet Brands. Big Heart produces Meow Mix and 9Lives, among other brands.

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