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Pet Litter Maker Absorption Corp. Gets New Owner

Posted: March 18, 2013, 5:45 p.m. EDT

Absorption Corp., a leading manufacturer of pet bedding and litter, has been sold to the global manufacturing company J. Rettenmaier & Söhne Group (JRS).

Terms of the sale by Absorption's parent company, the private equity firm Kinderhook Industries, were not announced. The sale closed March 14.

“Absorption Corp. is very pleased to be joining forces with J. Rettenmaier & Söhne to help drive our next phase of growth,” said Ted Mischaikov, Absorption's CEO. “JRS ownership is an excellent fit with its 135-year operating history, large manufacturing base and pet industry expertise providing a strong platform for the expansion of Absorption's business in the U.S. and internationally.”

Absorption's paper bedding products for pets are derived from reclaimed wood cellulose.
Absorption, under Kinderhook's ownership since 2010, offers pet care brands such as CareFresh, Healthy Pet and CritterCare and products ranging from small animal bedding, food and habitats to enrichment items and natural cat litter.

JRS processes sustainable, plant-based fibers for the pet care, food, nutrition, pharmaceutical, chemical and construction industries.  Based in Rosenberg, Germany, the company's pet litter and bedding products include Cats Best natural cat litters. 

“[Absorption] presents an excellent opportunity to transpose JRS' organic fiber technology to the U.S. marketplace, access retail shelves and expand production facilities,” said Heinz Petersen, CFO of JRS and the head of its North American division.

Absorption, based in Ferndale, Wash., also makes cellulose-based absorbent products for industrial and agricultural use, including hazardous spill cleanup and water filtration.

The management team at Absorption will stay in place, said Samuel Cohen, the company's vice president of sales and marketing.

The new ownership will bring “additional resources of an $800 million parent company with a successful history in pet products and that is strategically focused on the long term,” Cohen added.


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