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Premium pet food company Freshpet files for IPO

Sept 12 (Reuters) - Freshpet Inc, a maker of healthy food for cats and dogs, filed with U.S. regulators for an initial public offering of its common stock.

Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse are the lead underwriters for the IPO, the New Jersey-based company said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.

Freshpet's filing listed private equity firm MidOcean Partners LP and Tyson Foods Inc, the largest U.S. meat processor, as investors. (http://1.usa.gov/1wnIPdu)

Founded in 2006, Freshpet makes fresh, refrigerated food for dogs and cats as an alternative to dry or canned food.

The company's products, available at stores including Target Corp and Wal-Mart Stores Inc, do not have preservatives, fillers, corn or wheat.

Freshpet reported a 38 percent rise in net sales to $39.7 million for six months ended June 30 from a year earlier.

Sales are expected to top $100 million this year, CEO Richard Thompson was cited as saying in an interview with a local newspaper earlier this year.

The company's net loss widened to $11.4 million from $10 million.

The North American dog and cat food market had retail sales of $22.5 billion in 2013, according to market research firm Euromonitor.

Reuters had reported in April that the company could go public this year.

Freshpet set a nominal fundraising target of about $100 million.

The filing did not reveal how many shares the company planned to sell, their expected price, and the exchange on which it planned to list.

The amount of money a company says it plans to raise in its first IPO filings is used to calculate registration fees. The final size of the IPO could be different.

(Reporting by Amrutha Gayathri in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)