Hain Celestial Group, Inc., a leading natural and organic products company, today announced the signing of a joint venture agreement with Hutchison China Meditech Ltd. ("Chi-Med") (AIM: HCM), the majority owned subsidiary of Hutchison Whampoa Limited. With pharmaceutical and healthcare operations primarily in China, Chi-Med will market and distribute infant and toddler feeding products co-branded under the Earth's Best(R) and Zhi Ling Tong brand names and market and distribute selected Hain Celestial brands in China and other markets, leveraging the worldwide retail network for product distribution of the Hutchison Whampoa Group. Under the terms of the agreement, each partner will own 50% of a newly created entity, Hutchison Hain Organic Holdings Limited.
"We have established a strong foundation for our brands in North America and Europe and look to deepen our franchise and widen our reach into China and Asia, said Irwin D. Simon, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hain Celestial. "Our joint venture with an esteemed partner in Chi-Med and Hutchison Whampoa accelerates our entry with a partner whose values and product portfolio are entirely consistent with ours."
Christian Hogg, Chief Executive Officer of Chi-Med, said, "Tapping into Hain Celestial's know-how in natural and organic infant and toddler feeding is an important step forward in Chi-Med's strategy. The joint venture leverages Chi-Med's extensive China distribution network and significantly adds to our platform in infant nutrition, one of China's fastest growing categories. It also capitalizes on the long-established relationships and international retail strengths of Hutchison Whampoa to grow Hain Celestial's portfolio of brands in the region, to our mutual benefit."
Chi-Med, majority-owned by Hutchison Whampoa Limited, has a strong position in pharmaceutical and healthcare products in China, including an extensive distribution network. With its highly respected Zhi Ling Tong brand, it also has a strong platform and growing sales in the Chinese infant nutrition supplements market. Hain Celestial's Earth's Best(R) is the fastest growing established brand in infant feeding in the United States. Through its wholly owned A.S. Watson Group, Hutchison Whampoa is a major international retailer with over 8,400 retail stores in 34 markets. A.S. Watson has a strong presence in Asia with over 270 supermarkets and mega stores under the name PARKnSHOP and over 1,700 Watson's health and beauty stores. In Europe, it has over 1,600 luxury perfumery and cosmetics stores and over 4,700 health & beauty stores under brand names including Superdrug (UK), Marionnaud (France, Austria, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and Portugal), Rossmann (Germany), Kruidvat, ICI Paris XL, and Trekpleister (Belgium and Netherlands).
The Hain Celestial Group
The Hain Celestial Group, headquartered in Melville, NY, is a leading natural and organic company in North America and Europe. Hain Celestial participates in almost all natural food categories with well-known brands that include Celestial Seasonings(R), Terra(R), Garden of Eatin'(R), Health Valley(R), WestSoy(R), Earth's Best(R), Arrowhead Mills(R), MaraNatha(R), SunSpire(R), DeBoles(R), Hain Pure Foods(R), Hollywood(R), Spectrum Naturals(R), Spectrum Essentials(R), Walnut Acres Organic(R), Imagine(R), Rice Dream(R), Soy Dream(R), Rosetto(R), Ethnic Gourmet(R), Yves Veggie Cuisine(R), Granose(R), Realeat(R), Linda McCartney(R), Daily Bread(TM), Lima(R), Grains Noirs(R), Natumi(R), JASON(R), Zia(R) Natural Skincare, Avalon Organics(R), Alba Botanica(R), Queen Helene(R), Tushies(R) and TenderCare(R). Hain Celestial has been providing "A Healthy Way of Life(TM)" since 1993. For more information, visit www.hain-celestial.com
Chi-Med (AIM: HCM) is the holding company of a pharmaceutical and healthcare group based primarily in China and was admitted to trading on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange in May 2006. It is focused on researching, developing, manufacturing, and selling pharmaceuticals, health supplements and other consumer health and personal care products derived from Traditional Chinese Medicine and botanical ingredients. Chi-Med is majority owned by Hutchison Whampoa Limited, an international company listed on the Main Board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited. For more information, visit www.chi-med.com.
About Hutchison Whampoa Limited
HWL is a leading international corporation committed to innovation and technology with businesses spanning the globe. Its diverse array of holdings range from some of the world's biggest port operators and retailers to property development and infrastructure to the most technologically-advanced and marketing-savvy telecommunications operators. HWL reports turnover of approximately HKD348 billion (USD45 billion) and HKD141 billion (USD18 billion) for the year ended 31 December 2008 and for the six months ended 30 June 2009 respectively. With operations in 54 countries and approximately 220,000 employees worldwide, HWL has five core businesses - ports and related services; property and hotels; retail; energy, infrastructure, investments and others; and telecommunications. HWL is among the largest companies listed on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Flagship companies include Hutchison Port Holdings, Hutchison Whampoa Properties, A S Watson, Cheung Kong Infrastructure and Hutchison Telecom. For more information, visit www.hutchison-whampoa.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements within and constitutes a "Safe Harbor" statement under Rule 3b-6 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Words such as "expect," "expected", "anticipate," "estimate," "believe," "may," "potential," "can," "position", "positioned," "should," and similar expressions, or the negative of those expressions, may identify forward-looking statements. Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters discussed in this press release are forward-looking statements that involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, which could cause our actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. These risks include but are not limited to our ability to achieve our guidance for sales and earnings per share in fiscal year 2010 given the recession in the U.S. and other markets that we sell products as well as economic and business conditions generally and their effect on our customers and consumers' product preferences, and our business, financial condition and results of operations; changes in estimates or judgments related to our impairment analysis of goodwill and other intangible assets; our ability to implement our business and acquisition strategy, including our strategy for improving results in Europe; our ability to realize sustainable growth generally and from investments in core brands, offering new products and our focus on containment, productivity, cash flow and margin enhancement in particular, our ability to effectively integrate our acquisitions; competition; the success and cost of introducing new products as well as our ability to increase prices on existing products, availability and retention of key personnel; our reliance on third party distributors, manufacturers and suppliers; our ability to maintain existing contracts and secure and integrate new customers; our ability to respond to changes and trends in customer and consumer demand, preferences and consumption; international sales and operations; changes in fuel and commodity costs; the continuing adverse effects on our results of operations from the impacts of foreign exchange; the resolution of civil litigation regarding our stock option practices; changes in, or the failure to comply with, government regulations; and other risks detailed from time-to-time in the Company's reports filed with the SEC, including the annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2009. As a result of the foregoing and other factors, no assurance can be given as to future results, levels of activity and achievements and neither the Company nor any person assumes responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of these statements.