Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Organization and Significant Accounting Policies (Policies)

Organization and Significant Accounting Policies (Policies)
12 Months Ended
Sep. 28, 2019
Organization, Consolidation and Presentation of Financial Statements [Abstract]  

Organization – Central Garden & Pet Company (“Central”), a Delaware corporation, and subsidiaries (the “Company”), is a leading marketer and producer of quality branded products and distributor of third party products in the pet and lawn and garden supplies markets.
Basis of Consolidation and Presentation Basis of Consolidation and Presentation – The consolidated financial statements are prepared in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (GAAP) and include the accounts of Central and all majority-owned subsidiaries. All intercompany balances and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation. The fiscal years ended September 28, 2019 and September 29, 2018 each included 52 weeks. The fiscal year ended September 30, 2017 included 53 weeks.
Noncontrolling Interest
Noncontrolling Interest – Noncontrolling interest in the Company’s consolidated financial statements represents the 20% interest not owned by the Company in a consolidated subsidiary. Since the Company controls this subsidiary, its financial statements are consolidated with those of the Company, and the noncontrolling owner’s 20% share of the subsidiary’s net assets and results of operations is deducted and reported as noncontrolling interest on the consolidated balance sheets and as net income attributable to noncontrolling interest in the consolidated statements of operations.
Use of Estimates
Use of Estimates – The preparation of financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America requires that management make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities as of the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period including realization of accounts receivable and inventory and valuation of goodwill and intangibles. Actual results could differ from those estimates.
Revenue Recognition
Revenue Recognition and Nature of Products and Services

The Company manufactures, markets and distributes a wide variety of branded, private label and third-party pet and garden products to wholesalers, distributors and retailers, primarily in the United States. The majority of the Company’s revenue is generated from the sale of finished pet and garden products. The Company also recognizes a minor amount of non-product revenue (approximately one percent of consolidated net sales) comprising third-party logistics services, merchandising services and royalty income from sales-based licensing arrangements. Product and non-product revenue is recognized when performance obligations under the terms of the contracts with customers are satisfied. The Company recognizes product revenue when control over the finished goods transfers to its customers, which generally occurs upon shipment to, or receipt at, customers’ locations, as determined by the specific terms of the contract. These revenue arrangements generally have single performance obligations. Non-product revenue is recognized as the services are provided to the customer in the case of third-party logistics services and merchandising services, or as third-party licensee sales occur for royalty income. Revenue, which includes shipping and handling charges billed to the customer, is reported net of variable consideration and consideration payable to our customers, including applicable discounts, returns, allowances, trade promotion, unsaleable product, consumer coupon redemption and rebates. The amount billed to customers for shipping and handling costs included in net sales for the fiscal years ended September 28, 2019September 29, 2018 and September 30, 2017 was $13.8 million, $12.2 million and $9.4 million, respectively. Shipping and handling costs that occur before the customer obtains control of the goods are deemed to be fulfillment activities and are accounted for as fulfillment costs.
Key sales terms are established on a frequent basis such that most customer arrangements and related incentives have a one year or shorter duration. As such, the Company does not capitalize contract inception costs. Product fulfillment costs are capitalized as a part of inventoriable costs in accordance with our inventory policies. The Company generally does not have unbilled receivables at the end of a period. Deferred revenues are not material and primarily include advance payments for services that have yet to be rendered. The Company does not receive noncash consideration for the sale of goods. Amounts billed and due from our customers are classified as receivables and require payment on a short-term basis; therefore, the Company does not have any significant financing components.

Sales Incentives and Other Promotional Programs

The Company routinely offers sales incentives and discounts through various regional and national programs to our customers and consumers. These programs include product discounts or allowances, product rebates, product returns, one-time or ongoing trade-promotion programs with customers and consumer coupon programs that require the Company to estimate and accrue the expected costs of such
programs. The costs associated with these activities are accounted for as reductions to the transaction price of the Company’s products and are, therefore, recorded as reductions to gross sales at the time of sale. The Company bases its estimates of incentive costs on historical trend experience with similar programs, actual incentive terms per customer contractual obligations and expected levels of performance of trade promotions, utilizing customer and sales organization inputs. The Company maintains liabilities at the end of each period for the estimated incentive costs incurred but unpaid for these programs. Differences between estimated and actual incentive costs are generally not material and are recognized in earnings in the period such differences are determined. Reserves for product returns, accrued rebates and promotional accruals are included in the condensed consolidated balance sheets as part of accrued expenses, and the value of inventory associated with reserves for sales returns is included within prepaid and other current assets on the condensed consolidated balance sheets.

Practical Expedients

The Company elected the following practical expedients upon its adoption of Accounting Standards Update ("ASU") No. 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (ASC Topic 606).

Significant financing component - The Company elected not to adjust the promised amount of consideration for the effects of a significant financing component as the Company expects, at contract inception, that the period between the transfer of a promised good or service to a customer and when the customer pays for that good or service will be one year or less.
Shipping and handling costs - The Company elected to account for shipping and handling activities that occur before the customer has obtained control of a good as fulfillment activities rather than as a promised service.
Measurement of transaction price - The Company has elected to exclude from the measurement of transaction price all taxes assessed by a governmental authority that are both imposed on, and concurrent with, a specific revenue-producing transaction and collected by the Company from a customer for sales taxes.
Cost of goods sold and occupancy Cost of goods sold and occupancy consists of cost of product, inbound freight charges, purchasing and receiving costs, certain indirect purchasing, merchandise handling and storage costs, internal transfer costs as well as allocations of overhead costs, including depreciation, related to the Company’s facilities. Cost of goods sold excludes substantially all shipping and handling and out-bound freight costs to customers, which are included in selling, general and administrative expenses as delivery expenses.
Advertising Costs Advertising Costs – The Company expenses the costs of advertising as incurred.
Other income (expense)
Other income (expense) consists principally of earnings (losses) from equity method investments and foreign exchange gains and losses.
Income taxes Income taxes are accounted for under the asset and liability method. Deferred income taxes result primarily from bad debt allowances, inventory and goodwill write-downs, amortization and depreciation. The Company establishes a valuation allowance for deferred tax assets when management believes it is more likely than not a deferred tax asset will not be realized.
Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash - The Company considers cash and all highly liquid investments with an original maturity of three months or less at date of purchase to be cash and cash equivalents. Restricted cash includes cash and highly liquid instruments that are used as collateral for stand-alone letter of credit agreements related to normal business transactions. These agreements require the Company to maintain specified amounts of cash as collateral in segregated accounts to support the letters of credit issued thereunder, which will affect the amount of cash the Company has available for other uses.
Accounts receivable Accounts receivable are carried at their estimated collectible amounts. Trade credit is generally extended on a short-term basis; thus trade receivables do not bear interest, although a finance charge may be applied to such receivables that are past due.
Allowance for doubtful accounts Allowance for doubtful accounts – Trade accounts receivable are regularly evaluated for collectability based on past credit history with customers, their current financial condition and their expected deductions.
Inventories Inventories, which primarily consist of garden products and pet supplies finished goods, are stated at the lower of FIFO cost or market. Cost includes certain indirect purchasing, merchandise handling and storage costs incurred to acquire or manufacture inventory, costs to unload, process and put away shipments received in order to prepare them to be picked for orders, and certain other overhead costs. The amount of such costs capitalized to inventory is computed based on an estimate of costs related to the procurement and processing of inventory to prepare it for sale compared to total product purchases
Land, buildings, improvements and equipment Land, buildings, improvements and equipment are stated at cost. Depreciation is computed by the straight-line method over 30 years for buildings. Improvements are amortized on a straight-line basis over the shorter of the useful life of the asset or the terms of the related leases. Depreciation on equipment and capitalized software is computed by the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of three to 10 years.
Long-Lived Assets
Long-Lived Assets – The Company reviews its long-lived assets, including amortizable and indefinite-lived intangible assets and property, plant and equipment, for potential impairment whenever events or changes in business circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of the assets may not be fully recoverable, and annually for indefinite-lived intangible assets. An impairment loss would be recognized for amortizable intangible assets and property, plant and equipment when estimated undiscounted future cash flows expected to result from the use of the asset are less than its carrying amount. An impairment loss would be recognized for an intangible asset with an indefinite useful life if its carrying value exceeds its fair value. Impairment, if any, is measured as the amount by which the carrying amount of a long-lived asset exceeds its fair value. There were no impairment losses recorded in fiscal years 2018 or 2017. As a result of one of our retail customers exiting the live fish business, factors indicating the carrying value of certain amortizable intangible assets may not be
recoverable were present during the quarter ended March 30, 2019. The Company performed impairment testing on these assets, found the carrying value was not recoverable, and accordingly, recorded an impairment charge in its Pet segment of approximately $2.5 million as part of selling, general and administrative expenses in the consolidated statements of operations for the fiscal year ended September 28, 2019. Should market conditions or the assumptions used by the Company in determining the fair value of assets change, or management changes plans regarding the future use of certain assets, additional charges to operations may be required in the period in which such conditions occur.
Goodwill Goodwill represents the excess of cost of an acquired business over the fair value of the identifiable tangible and intangible assets acquired and liabilities assumed in a business combination. Identifiable intangible assets acquired in business combinations are recorded based on their fair values at the date of acquisition. Goodwill is not subject to amortization but must be evaluated for impairment annually. The Company tests for goodwill impairment annually or whenever events occur or circumstances change that would more likely than not reduce the fair value of a reporting unit below its carrying amount.
Investments Investments – The Company owns membership interests ranging from 7% to 50% in ten unconsolidated companies. The Company accounts for its interest in these entities using the equity method and in accordance with Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) 321 - Investments - Equity Securities, (formerly known as cost method).
Insurance – The Company maintains insurance for certain risks, including workers’ compensation, general liability and vehicle liability, and is self-insured for employee related health care benefits. The Company’s workers’ compensation, general liability and vehicle liability insurance policies include deductibles of $250,000 to $350,000 per occurrence. The Company maintains excess loss insurance that covers any health care claims in excess of $700,000 per person per year. The Company establishes reserves for losses based on its claims experience and actuarial estimates of the ultimate loss amount inherent in the claims, including claims incurred but not yet reported. Costs are recognized in the period the claim is incurred, and the financial statement accruals include an estimate of claims incurred but not yet reported.
Fair Value of Financial Instruments Fair Value of Financial Instruments – At September 28, 2019 and September 29, 2018, the carrying amount of cash and cash equivalents, short term investments, accounts receivable and payable, short term borrowings and accrued liabilities approximates fair value because of the short term nature of these instruments. The estimated fair value of the Company’s senior subordinated notes is based on quoted market prices for these instruments.
Stock-Based Compensation Stock-Based Compensation – Stock-based compensation cost is estimated at the grant date based on the fair value of the award and is expensed ratably over the service period of the award.
Total Comprehensive Income (Loss) Total Comprehensive Income (Loss) – Total comprehensive income (loss) consists of two components: net income and other comprehensive income (loss). Other comprehensive income (loss) refers to gains and losses that under generally accepted accounting principles are recorded directly as an element of shareholders’ equity, but are excluded from net income, and is comprised of currency translation adjustments relating to the Company’s foreign subsidiary whose functional currency is not the U.S. dollar
Recent Accounting Pronouncements
Recent Accounting Pronouncements
Accounting Pronouncements Recently Adopted
Revenue Recognition

In May 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") ASC Topic 606, which replaces numerous requirements in U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ("GAAP"), including industry-specific requirements, and provides companies with a single revenue recognition model for recognizing revenue from contracts with customers. On September 30, 2018, the beginning of the Company’s fiscal year 2019, the Company adopted the requirements of ASC Topic 606 using the modified retrospective method. Upon completing its implementation assessment of ASC Topic 606, the Company concluded that no adjustment was required to the opening balance of retained earnings at the date of initial application. The comparative information has also not been restated and continues to be reported under the
accounting standards in effect for those periods. Additional disclosures required by ASC Topic 606 are presented within the Revenue Recognition policy disclosure and in Note 18 - Segment Information.
On the Company’s condensed consolidated balance sheets, reserves for customer product returns and return allowances are now included as part of accrued expenses, rather than accounts receivable, net, and the value of inventory associated with reserves for sales returns is included within prepaid and other current assets.
Had the Company not adopted the provisions under this ASU, its condensed consolidated balance sheet as of September 28, 2019 would have been presented as follows (in thousands):

As Reported September 28, 2019


Balances without Adoption of ASC Topic 606 September 28, 2019
Current assets

Receivables, less allowance for doubtful accounts



Prepaid expenses and other



Total current assets



Current liabilities

Accrued expenses



Total current liabilities




Statement of Cash Flows
In August 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-15, Statement of Cash Flows (Topic 230): Classification of Certain Cash Receipts and Cash Payments (ASU 2016-15). The ASU provides additional clarification guidance on the classification of certain cash receipts and payments in the statement of cash flows. The Company adopted the provisions of this guidance as of September 30, 2018 on a retrospective basis. The adoption of this guidance did not have a material impact on the Company's consolidated financial statements.
In November 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-18, Statement of Cash Flows (Topic 230): Restricted Cash (a consensus of the FASB Emerging Issues Task Force) (ASU 2016-18). This ASU clarifies the presentation of restricted cash on the statement of cash flows. Amounts generally described as restricted cash and restricted cash equivalents should be included with cash and cash equivalents when reconciling the beginning and ending cash balances on the statement of cash flows. The Company adopted the provisions under this ASU on September 30, 2018, on a retrospective basis. This resulted in an increase in beginning of period and end of period cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash of $10.9 million and $12.6 million, respectively, and a increase of $1.7 million of cash used in investing activities and a $1.7 million decrease in cash used in investing activities to the condensed consolidated statement of cash flows for the fiscal years ended September 29, 2018 and September 30, 2017, respectively.
Business Combinations
In January 2017, the FASB issued ASU No. 2017-01, Clarifying the Definition of a Business (ASU 2017-01), which requires an evaluation of whether substantially all of the fair value of assets acquired is concentrated in a single identifiable asset or a group of similar identifiable assets. If so, the transaction does not qualify as a business. The guidance also requires an acquired business to include at least one substantive process and narrows the definition of outputs. The Company adopted the provisions of this guidance as of September 30, 2018 and has accounted for subsequent acquisitions in accordance with this guidance.

Income Taxes

In October 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-16, Accounting for Income Taxes: Intra-Entity Asset Transfers of Assets Other Than Inventory (Topic 740).  ASU 2016-16 amends accounting guidance for intra-entity transfers of assets other than inventory to require the recognition of taxes when the transfer occurs.  The amendment was effective for the Company September 30, 2018.  A modified retrospective approach is required for transition to the new guidance, with a cumulative-effect adjustment consisting of the net impact from (1) the write-off of any unamortized expense previously deferred and (2) recognition of any previously unrecognized deferred tax assets, net of any valuation
allowance.  The new guidance does not include any specific new disclosure requirements.  Adoption of this guidance in the first quarter of fiscal 2019 did not have an impact on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.

Financial Instruments

In January 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-01, Financial Instruments - Overall (Subtopic 825-10): Recognition and Measurement of Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities. The updated guidance enhances the reporting model for financial instruments, which includes amendments to address aspects of recognition, measurement, presentation and disclosure. The guidance requires equity investments, excluding equity method investments or investees that are consolidated, to be measured at fair value with changes in fair value recognized in net income and enhanced disclosures about those investments. The guidance also simplifies the impairment assessments of equity investments without readily determinable fair value. The Company adopted the ASU in the first quarter of fiscal 2019, and the adoption of the new guidance did not have a material impact on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.
Accounting Standards Not Yet Adopted
In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-02 (ASU 2016-02), Leases (Topic 842). ASU 2016-02 requires companies to recognize on the balance sheet operating and financing lease liabilities and corresponding right-of-use assets and disclose key information about leasing information. Topic 842 was subsequently amended by ASU 2018-01, Land Easement Practical Expedient for Transition to Topic 842; ASU 2018-10, Codification Improvements to Topic 842, Leases; and ASU 2018-11, Targeted Improvements. The new standard establishes a right-of-use model (ROU) that requires a lessee to recognize a ROU asset and lease liability on the balance sheet for all leases with a term longer than 12 months. Leases will be classified as finance or operating, with classification affecting the pattern and classification of expense recognition in the statement of operations.
The new standard is effective for the Company commencing in the first quarter of fiscal 2020 and the Company adopted the new standard on its effective date. A modified retrospective transition approach is required, applying the new standard to all leases existing at the date of initial application. An entity may choose to use either (1) its effective date or (2) the beginning of the earliest comparative period presented in the financial statements as its date of initial application. If an entity chooses the second option, the transition requirements for existing leases also apply to leases entered into between the date of initial application and the effective date. The entity must also recast its comparative period financial statements and provide the disclosures required by the new standard for the comparative periods. The Company adopted the new standard on September 29, 2019 and used the effective date as our date of initial application. Consequently, financial information will not be updated and the disclosures required under the new standard will not be provided for dates and periods before September 29, 2019.
The new standard provides a number of optional practical expedients in transition. The Company elected the 'package of practical expedients,' which permit it to not reassess under the new standard its prior conclusions about lease identification, lease classification and initial direct costs. The Company did not elect the use-of-hindsight or the practical expedient pertaining to land easements; the latter not being applicable to it.
The new standard also provides practical expedients for an entity's ongoing accounting. The Company has elected the short-term lease recognition exemption for all leases that qualify. This means, for those leases that qualify, the Company will not recognize ROU assets or lease liabilities for existing short-term leases of those assets in transition. The Company also elected the practical expedient to not separate lease and non-lease components for all its leases.
The Company expects this standard will have a material effect on its financial statements. While the Company continues to assess all of the effects of adoption, the Company currently believes the most significant effects relate to (1) the recognition of new ROU assets and lease liabilities on its balance sheet for its production equipment, vehicle and real estate operating leases and (2) providing significant new disclosures about its leasing activities.
On adoption, the Company will recognize additional operating liabilities in excess of $110 million, based on the present value of the remaining minimum rental payments under current leasing standards for existing operating leases. The Company will also recognize corresponding ROU assets based upon the operating lease liabilities, adjusted for prepaid and deferred rents on the effective date.
Information on our current operating leases can be found in Note 11 - Commitments and Contingencies.

Goodwill and Intangible Assets
In January 2017, the FASB issued ASU No. 2017-04, Intangibles - Goodwill and Other: Simplifying the Test for Goodwill Impairment. The new guidance simplifies the subsequent measurement of goodwill by removing the second step of the two-step impairment test. The amendment requires an entity to perform its annual or interim goodwill impairment test by comparing the fair value of a reporting unit with its carrying amount. An entity still has the option to perform the qualitative assessment for a reporting unit to determine if the quantitative impairment test is necessary. The new guidance is effective for annual periods or any interim goodwill impairment tests in fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019, or the Company's first quarter of fiscal 2021. The amendment should be applied on a prospective basis. Based on the Company's most recent annual goodwill impairment test performed as of July 1, 2018, there were no reporting units for which the carrying amount of the reporting unit exceeded its fair value; therefore, this ASU would not currently have an impact on the Company's consolidated financial statements and related disclosures. However, if upon adoption the carrying amount of a reporting unit exceeds its fair value, the Company would be impacted by the amount of impairment recognized.

In August 2018, the FASB issued ASU No. 2018-15, Intangibles-Goodwill and Other-Internal-Use Software (Subtopic 350-40), Customer's Accounting for Implementation Costs Incurred in a Cloud Computing Arrangement That Is a Service Contract. This ASU aligns the requirements for capitalizing implementation costs incurred in a hosting arrangement that is a service contract with the requirements for capitalizing implementation costs incurred to develop or obtain internal-use software (and hosting arrangements that include an internal-use software license). ASU 2018-15 is effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2019 and interim periods within those annual periods, with early adoption permitted, and is effective for the Company in fiscal 2021. The amendments in this ASU should be applied either retrospectively or prospectively to all implementation costs incurred after the date of adoption. The Company is currently evaluating the effect that ASU 2018-15 will have on its consolidated financial statements and related disclosures.
Fair Value Disclosures

In August 2018, the FASB issued ASU No. 2018-13, Fair Value Measurement (Topic 820), Disclosure Framework-Changes to the Disclosure Requirements for Fair Value Measurement. This ASU modifies the disclosure requirements for fair value measurements by removing, modifying or adding certain disclosures. ASU 2018-13 is effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2019 and interim periods within those annual periods, with early adoption permitted and is effective for the Company in fiscal 2021. The amendments on changes in unrealized gains and losses, the range and weighted average of significant unobservable inputs used to develop Level 3 fair value measurements, and the narrative description of measurement uncertainty should be applied prospectively for only the most recent interim or annual period presented in the initial fiscal year of adoption. All other amendments should be applied retrospectively to all periods presented upon their effective date. The Company is currently evaluating the effect that ASU 2018-13 will have on its consolidated financial statements and related disclosures.
Fair Value Measurements
Generally accepted accounting principles require financial assets and liabilities to be categorized based on the inputs used to calculate their fair values as follows:
Level 1 – Quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities.
Level 2 – Inputs other than quoted prices included within Level 1 that are observable for the asset or liability, either directly or indirectly.
Level 3 – Unobservable inputs for the asset or liability, which reflect the Company’s own assumptions about the assumptions that market participants would use in pricing the asset or liability (including assumptions about risk).
The Company’s financial instruments include cash and equivalents, restricted cash and equivalents, short term investments, accounts receivable and payable, derivative instruments, short-term borrowings, and accrued liabilities. The carrying amount of these instruments approximates fair value because of their short-term nature.