October 8/Melville, N.Y./PRNewswire-FirstCall -- The Hain Celestial Group Inc. announced the signing of a joint venture agreement with Hutchison China Meditech Ltd., 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 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."
From the October 12, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition