Sumitomo Corp., Sumitomo Corp. of America and Japanese petfood manufacturer Unicharm closed a joint-venture deal on December 30, 2011. The deal gives Unicharm a significant stake in the common share of small animal food and pet treats manufacturer Hartz Mountain Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Corp.

"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 US pet care market and ideally build the business globally."