Sumitomo Corporation and Unicharm have formed a joint venture deal giving Unicharm a significant stake in the common share of The Hartz Mountain Corporation (Hartz), a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo.
"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," says Koichi Isohata, a representative at Sumitomo. "The alliance is intended to grow the Hartz business, maximizing the potential of the US Pet Care market and ideally build the business globally."
Currently, the US is the largest market in the world for pet care products, representing approximately $30 billion in 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 and 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.