06 February 2020

Miller Johnson Represents Pondera Holdings in Investment Transaction with Automated Pet Care Products

The Transaction

In September 2019, Pondera Holdings LLC (Pondera) completed a more than $31M investment transaction with Automated Pet Care Products (AutoPets), maker of the Litter-Robot. This investment will allow AutoPets to accelerate its already impressive growth. AutoPets is the inventor, manufacturer, and retailer of the Litter-Robot, which is the highest-rated automatic, self-cleaning litter box on the market. AutoPets is launching a new robot product line in 2020 as well as expanding its headquarters in Auburn Hills, MI and its assembly plant in Juneau, WI.

Seth Barkett, a partner at Pondera, said “There is a significant opportunity in front of the company. We look forward to supporting them as they pioneer a global awakening of innovative IoT pet appliances, technologies, and products that change pet parenting for the better.”

Miller Johnson acted as legal advisor to Pondera in the transaction. Miller Johnson’s team was led by Jordan Schwartz and Dustin Daniels and included Loic Dimithe (Corporate and Finance), David Hall (Finance), Michael Penny (Finance), Neil Williams (Tax), Jim Ens (Real Estate), Grant Schertzing (Environmental), Nate Plantinga (Employment), Jason Crow (Cybersecurity) and Jeff Gray (Employee Benefits).

Pondera Holdings

(  Pondera Holdings LLC is an operationally-focused holding company that provides capital to private, entrepreneurial businesses with growth potential. Pondera is flexible in tailoring each investment and works with management to refine a strategic plan for growth. As a holding company with permanent capital, Pondera is not constrained by the fixed time-horizon of a traditional private equity fund. This structure is advantageous for all stakeholders because it allows for a long-term strategic approach to building and maximizing value.


(  AutoPets was founded by Brad Baxter along with his father Jim and is an international leader in the pet care space. The Litter-Robot is a self-cleaning cat litter box and is considered a destination web site for cat parents. The 20-year old company earned an estimated $40 million of revenue in 2019 and has been included on the Inc. 5000 list for the past three years. AutoPets has over 90 passionate employees.

Miller Johnson’s Mergers and Acquisitions Group

Miller Johnson’s M&A practice group collaborates with clients and their advisors to structure, negotiate and close deals. Our M&A professionals and subject-matter experts have significant experience representing acquirers, investors, sellers, targets, individuals and borrowers, which we leverage to navigate our clients through the various challenges that can arise in the context of mergers, acquisitions, dispositions and other business combination or investment transactions.

Miller Johnson is top listed for mergers and acquisitions with U.S. News & World Report’s Best Law Firms and is ranked by Chambers USA. Our attorneys are consistently involved in deals honored as winners and finalists at the M&A Advisor’s national awards and the ACG M&A Deals and Dealmakers regional awards. For further information, please contact Dustin Daniels at (616) 831-1737 or Jordan Schwartz at (616) 831-1719.