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Cosmic Pets to be sold

local operation won't change

July 02, 2010|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- An Ohio company is buying Cosmic Pet Products, which manufactures catnip and other cat treats in Washington County.

OurPet's Co. of Fairport Harbor, Ohio, which makes cat and dog merchandise, will be the new owner. Cosmic will become a division of OurPet's, a public company.

The sale won't change the number of local jobs, said Leon Seidman, the president and founder of Cosmic, which has about 20 employees.

Production will continue at Cosmic's plant on Business Parkway west of Hagerstown.

Under the June 28 purchase agreement, OurPet's will give Cosmic $800,000 in cash, debt payments and stock for its assets, subject to adjustments at closing.

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The sale is scheduled to become final by July 31.

Steve Tsengas, OurPet's president and CEO, said Thursday that his company is projecting revenues of $16 million to $20 million this year.

In a statement about the transaction, OurPet's said it anticipates Cosmic contributing about $2.25 million to $2.75 million in revenue in the next 12 months.

Tsengas said Cosmic's success in catnip toys is a good addition, filling a gap in OurPet's product lines for cats and dogs.

Cosmic is strong in independent pet stores and specialty distributors, while OurPet's sells its products to large retailers, he said.

Tsengas said OurPet's will centralize sales and purchasing, but it won't mean any job cuts at Cosmic.

Seidman's son will take over regional sales, Tsengas said.

The purchase agreement says Leon Seidman will become a senior advisor after the acquisition at a salary of $50,000 a year plus benefits.

Seidman said he plans to keep working full time for another three years or so, then part time.

He said the local Cosmic operation will improve its efficiency by working on long-term production more than short-term orders.

He expects the change will give him more time to design new products and be creative, which he prefers to administration.

Seidman, 67, started his business in 1975 after finding a good catnip for his pet cat, WB. He said he moved the company to the Hagerstown area in 1977.

He said he received several acquisition offers over the years. He liked OurPet's as an innovative company that seems to value ethics and quality like he does.

Pet products have fared well in the sluggish economy because animals are a constant in people's lives -- especially cats, which are low maintenance, Seidman said.

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