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Royal Canin S.A.S.

650 Av De La Petite CamarguePhone: +33-466730300
AimarguesGardFax: +33-466730700
FranceMap Map This Company
http://www.royalcanin.comHoover's coverage by Rachel Pierce


Jean Cathary established Royal Canin in 1968. A veterinary surgeon, Cathary was determined to develop a high-quality ready-made dry dog food and distribute it through specialty retail outlets (breeders, veterinarians, pet stores) where conscientious pet owners were most likely to seek pet care advice. In 1972 Cathary sold his company (including a manufacturing plant) to the Guyomarc'h Group. The Group founded the Royal Canin Research Center in Saint Nolff, France, in 1973.

From 1972 until 1982 the company embarked on a wave of expansion, establishing subsidiaries in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Sweden. It also opened another manufacturing facility in northern France to facilitate export opportunities in northern European markets.

In 1980 the company launched its Cynotechnical line of dog food especially for breeders, as well as AGR, a large-breed puppy food and the first dog food designed for dogs of specific sizes and weights.

Royal Canin continued its international expansion in 1988, moving into the US by acquiring dry dog food specialists Piasa (Pets Products Plus) and establishing a second research center in the state of Missouri. Two years later it added subsidiaries in Nugat, Germany, and São Paulo.

In 1990 the company began selling Royal Canin Cynotechnique International (for dogs) and Royal Canin Felinotechnique International (for cats), a pair of high-nutrition dietary programs for the consumer market. Around that time it decided to branch out into wholesale and retail operations and expand the scope of its manufacturing beyond dog and cat food. This effort was unsuccessful and an earnings decline between 1992 and 1994 led the company to sell its noncore operations.

Back on track, in 1997 Royal Canin launched a new line of premium products, including high-end extensions of the RCCI and RCFI brands. The products were notable for their sensitivity to age, activity, size, and other constitutional differences among various canine and feline breeds. Also that year the company went public and was listed on the Paris stock exchange.

Royal Canin expanded into Latin America and Asia in 1999, the year a new product, Feline Nutrition, replaced the RCFI line. In July 2001 US candy maker Mars announced that it was buying French bank BNP Paribas' nearly 60% stake in Royal Canin for about $730 million and took control of the pet food maker in 2003. As part of the Mars takeover, Royal Canin agreed in May 2002 to sell off some of its assets per court order to Spanish pet food maker Agrolimen.

The company acquired the IVD, Medi-Cal, and Techni-Cal pet food brands from Del Monte Foods in 2004.

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