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- 05.22

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Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc. is an American diversified company established in 2005 as the successor company to Rayovac Corporation. Rayovac had been located in Wisconsin since its conception as The French Battery Company in 1906. Rayovac, as a division of Spectrum Brands, remained headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin, along with Remington even while the parent company, Spectrum Brands, was headquartered in Georgia. On April 15, 2010 Spectrum Brands announced that it would be moving Corporate Headquarters back to Madison, WI. Spectrum Brands moved its Headquarters to Middleton, WI in October 2013.

The company manufactures and markets batteries under the Rayovac and Varta brand names, home appliances under the Remington, Russell Hobbs and George Foreman brand names, lawn and garden care products under the Spectracide and Garden Safe brand names, insect repellents under the Cutter and Repel brand names. Spectrum owns several pet care companies both in the aquarium supply and companion animal trades. In the aquarium business, Spectrum owns Tetra, Whisper, Marineland, Perfecto, Jungle, Instant Ocean, Visi-Therm, and other product lines. Companion animal lines consist of Dingo, Lazy Pet, Wonderbox, and others. Both aquarium lines and companion lines are concentrated into Spectrum's United Pet Group based in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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In 1906, the French Battery Co. was founded in Madison, Wisconsin, by James Bowen Ramsay (1869-1952), with Alfred Landau as its first president. In 1910, Landau was replaced by C.F. Burgess, and the company became profitable. After a fire destroyed the plant in 1915, Burgess left to found his own company. Production rose during the First World War, and by 1920, the French company had US$2.74 million in sales and 600 employees, and 1000 employees in 1931.

In 1930, the company name was changed to Ray-O-Vac, an allusion to the then-new technology of vacuum tubes and electron rays. In 1933, the company patented the first wearable vacuum tube hearing aid.

During its ownership by the parent company of ESB Industrials, a British subsidiary was established to manufacture and market batteries in the United Kingdom under the Ray-O-Vac name. This operation ceased in 1972; Ray-O-Vac batteries continued to be marketed, although they were manufactured by the British Ever Ready company. In 1988, the name was simplified to Rayovac.

Diversification and name change

In 2003, Rayovac decided to diversify, and acquired non-battery related businesses including Remington Products and United Pet Group. In 2004, Rayovac successfully underbid Energizer (Eveready) as RadioShack's battery supplier and produced the "Enercell" brand of battery sold exclusively at RadioShack. In January 2005, Rayovac purchased United Industries Corporation for about $476 million in cash and stock. Brands included in United Industries were Vigoro, Spectracide and Sta-Green lawn products, Cutter, Hot Shot and Repel insect control products and pet supply products with the Marineland, Perfecto, and Eight in One brands. In 2005, Tetra, a major provider of pet-fish products, was acquired. This diversification prompted the name change from Rayovac to Spectrum Brands.

Rayovac also bought other battery companies including Varta, Ningbo Baowang and Microlite S.A.. The Microlite acquisition included the rights to the Rayovac name in Brazil, giving the company worldwide rights to the Rayovac name. With this acquisition, Rayovac consolidated its presence in the majority of countries in Latin America. Rayovac is a well recognized brand in this region.

Heavily leveraged in debt, Spectrum attempted to sell its pet division (United Pet Group) containing aquarium products and supplies under the Tetra, Marineland, Instant Ocean and Jungle brand names, and pet care products under the Dingo, Firstrax, 8 in 1 and Nature's Miracles brand names. Appliance maker Salton, owned by hedge fund Harbinger Capital, agreed to pay approximately $692 million cash to purchase the pet care division, but the deal collapsed on July 14, 2008. According to Forbes and The Wall Street Journal, the sale was rejected by Spectrum's own key lenders, most likely because the deal valued the brands for less than what the bankers considered them to be worth.

On February 3, 2009, Spectrum filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company later emerged from bankruptcy on August 28, 2009. Since emerging from Chapter 11, Spectrum has announced year-over-year increases in sales and adjusted EBITDA for the second quarter of their fiscal 2010.

Russell Hobbs Inc.

Spectrum Brands finalized a merger with Russell Hobbs Inc. (formerly known as Salton, Inc.) on June 16, 2010, to form a new $3 billion consumer products company. Russell Hobbs' brands include George Foreman Grill, Toastmaster, Black & Decker Home appliances, and Russell Hobbs.

Armored AutoGroup

On April 28, 2015, Spectrum Brands entered the automotive supply business by acquiring Armored AutoGroup which makes Armor All finishes and STP automotive chemicals among other products.

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Battery products

Rayovac manufactures alkaline batteries ranging in size from AAA to 9V, rechargeable NiMH batteries, hearing aid batteries, lithium photo batteries, specialty batteries and portable power chargers. In addition, a variety of portable LED flashlights and lanterns are produced under the Rayovac brand.

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Further reading

  • Noor, Robert; et al., "RAYOVAC Case Analysis", Southern Methodist University. (archived 2006)

Source of the article : Wikipedia



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