Sales: $784 million
Key Personnel: Yoshihiro Kaneda, group chairman; Hiroo Kaneda, group honorary chairman.
Major Products: Oral care products sold under the Gum and Butler brand names, and personal care products including hair care and skin care (Equitence).
New Products: Gum PerioShield Oral Health Rinse, Gum PerioBalance Daily Dental Probiotic, Gum Soft-Picks, Gum Proxabrush Go-Betweens Cleaners, Gum Technique Deep Clean Toothbrush, Gum Canker-X Site Specific Oral Pain Reliever Gel, Gum Eez-Thru Flossers and Gum Star Wars Kids Toothbrushes.
Comments: It was a busy year for Sunstar, with an acquisition, and expansion and new collection of oral care products linked to one of the most popular movies of all-time.
In November 2011, Sunstar Suisse SA, a company of the Sunstar Group, took over Degradable Solutions AG, a spin-off of the Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH), with head office in Schlieren. According to the company, this gives Sunstar access to the cutting-edge technology and the market-proven products of Degradable Solutions. In pursuit of its strategic goal of becoming a total oral health company, Sunstar is expanding its research and business activities from prevention to therapy with this acquisition. The founder of Degradable Solutions remains the CEO of the company.
Later on in 2011, the Sunstar Group expanded its manufacturing network into Europe with the acquisition of Interbros GmbH from the Krallmann Group of Germany. Interbros, a 180-year-old manufacturer of high quality toothbrushes and more recently, interdental cleaning picks, is an excellent fit with Sunstar’s goal of establishing a manufacturing base in Europe, the largest oral care products market in the world, the company contends. In order to continue serving Sunstar’s rapidly growing business in Europe, Interbros will provide a much-needed addition to the company’s supply chain structure and will play an expanding role in the manufacture and distribution of products for customers throughout Europe, as well as to Africa, the Middle East and other regions around the world.
In early 2012, Sunstar Americas, Inc., manufacturer of Gum and Butler brand products, launched the Gum Star Wars line of toothbrushes featuring three different products in unique character designs (Anakin Skywalker, Yoda, Darth Vader and Clone Captain Rex) from LucasFilm Ltd.