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New owner for kitty-litter maker

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Edward Lowe Industries Inc., the nation's largest manufacturer of cat box filler, was purchased Monday by an investment group headed by Good Capital Co. Inc. of New York and Knightsbridge Inc. of Chicago.

Terms of the deal with company founder Edward Lowe were not disclosed.

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With Monday's completion of the sale, the company -- which produces such products as Kitty Litter brand with Healthguard and Tidy Cat(R) 3 -- will be known as Golden Cat Corp.

Golden Cat will retain its present corporate headquarters in South Bend and its manufacturing headquarters in Cape Girardeau, Mo. The company also will retain its five clay mine and manufacturing facilities in Bloomfield, Mo.; Maricopa, Calif.; Olmsted, Ill.; Oran, Mo., and Paris, Tenn.

Philip L. Smith, 56, former chairman and chief executive officer of both Pillsbury Co. and General Foods Corp., is chairman of the new company.

Franklin W. Krum, 56, former president and chief executive officer of Alpo Pet Foods Inc., is president and chief executive officer of Golden Cat.

'Our primary objective for the Golden Cat Corp. is to invest in and increase our brand franchise, which is the foundgtion of this company,' Krum said.

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'This will be accomplished through exciting, aggressive new efforts in consumer marketing and advertising,' he said. 'But we also intend to seek out and invest in those appropriate pet product opportunities that present themselves in the future.'

Golden Cat will remain the nation's leading producer of cat box filler -- with a nearly 40 percent share of the $500-million market. In addition to its cat box fillers, Golden Cat also produces Tidy Cat 3 brand shake-on cat box deodorizer, cat box liners and pet-area deodorizers.

The company also produces a line of pet products under the Scamp(R) brand name, distributed exclusively through pet shops.

It also will continue to manufacture products in all of its present areas of operation, including absorbent clay products for industrial and agricultural uses.

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