Tokyo-based Unicharm and global trading company Sumitomo close JV deal on Dec. 30 that gives Unicharm significant stake in common share of Sumitomo subsidiary Hartz, a U.S. pet care business

NEW YORK , January 5, 2012 (press release) – Sumitomo Corporation, Sumitomo Corporation of America (collectively referred to as "Sumitomo Corporation") and Unicharm Corporation closed on December 30, 2011 a joint venture deal that gives Unicharm a significant stake in the common share of The Hartz Mountain Corporation (Hartz), a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Corporation.

"This new strategic partnership brings together the brand power, deep category expertise and existing market share of Hartz with Unicharm's proprietary technology and high-performing innovation," said Mr. Koichi Isohata, a representative at Sumitomo. "The alliance is intended to grow the Hartz business, maximizing the potential of the U.S. Pet Care market and ideally build the business globally."

Currently, the U.S. is the largest market in the world for pet care products, representing approximately $30billion (USD) of worldwide sales. Even with the recent global economic downturn, the U.S. has continued growing at the rate of 4-5% annually, with further growth expected.

Under Sumitomo Corporation's ownership, Hartz has successfully expanded its share of the U.S. pet-care market. By capitalizing on the chemical expertise of its parent company, as well as its strong distribution network, Hartz has increased its leadership position in Animal Health, with UltraGuard, the number one brand of retail flea & tick treatments in the country. In addition, Hartz is the leading brand of dog toys, puppy training pads, natural treats, pet shampoos and bird and small animal diets.

Unicharm entered into the pet-care business in 1986 and is now the leading pet care manufacturer in Japan. The company's growth can be attributed to differentiated product lines, with particular strength in the puppy training pad category, and strong marketing capabilities.

About Sumitomo Corporation of America and Sumitomo Corporation

Sumitomo Corporation of America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Corporation, an integrated trading and investment enterprise engaged in multifaceted business activities, which includes selling a variety of products and services, conducting import/export and trilateral business transactions, providing domestic and international business investment, and participating in numerous other profitable activities facilitated by its global network and the relationships of trust built with corporate business partners and consumers in various industrial sectors around the world. SCOA was established in 1952 and has offices in major cities throughout the U.S., as well as in Canada and Mexico. Hartz Mountain Corporation was the Company's first investment into the pet products and animal health industry. For more information, visit

About Hartz Mountain Corporation

For over 80 years, Hartz has offered products that optimize your pet's health and overall well being. The Hartz Mountain Corporation line of pet products was born in 1926 with packaged bird food, and expanded through the 1950s into goldfish, tropical fish and a full line of aquatic supplies. Dog and cat products, most notably the Hartz flea & tick collar--still the #1 selling flea & tick collar for both cats and dogs--were added in the 1960s. Based in Secaucus, New Jersey, Hartz today offers over 2,000 innovative products catering to dogs, cats, parakeets, canaries, parrots, cockatiels, finches, goldfish, tropical fish, reptiles, ferrets, chinchillas, guinea pigs, hamsters and rabbits—through over 100,000 U.S. and Canadian retail outlets.

For more information, visit

About Unicharm Corporation

Unicharm Corporation is a Japan-based consumer products company mainly engaged in the manufacture and sale of baby care products, feminine care products and pet care products. The Company operates in three business segments and commands nearly 50% of the domestic market. The Personal Care segment provides baby care related products; feminine care related products and healthcare related products. The Pet Care segment provides pet food products and pet toiletry products. The other segments are engaged in the provision of food packaging products and industrial materials, as well as finance services.

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