News about purchase of Hartz Company

Japanese Company to Buy Hartz Mountain for $366 Million

By Zachery Kouwe The Associated Press
Published: Jun 18, 2004

NEW YORK (Dow Jones/AP) – Investment fund J.W. Childs Associates LP has agreed to sell Hartz Mountain Corp., which makes pet products, to Japanese trading firm Sumitomo Corp. for about 40 billion yen, or $366 million.
The deal is expected to close next week. Hartz, of Secaucus, N.J., employs about 2,200 people.

Hartz makes more than 1,500 products, including flea collars, chew toys and drugs for depressed animals.

Boston-based J.W. Childs purchased Hartz in 2000 for a reported $328 million.

The move by Sumitomo reflects the growing market for pet-related products, the Japanese company said.

Sumitomo, the world’s fourth-largest trading firm, said it plans to increase the number of products that Hartz offers and raise its annual sales 70 percent to $500 million in five years.

The company said the U.S. pet supplies market is estimated to be worth about $8 billion.

Sumitomo also plans to expand Hartz into overseas markets with an emphasis on the rapidly growing Japanese market, according to Hartz’s chief executive, Robert Devine.

“We are going to continue with the current strategic plan and management will remain in place,” he said.

AP-ES-06-18-04 1204EDT

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