|Product type||Batteries and Smart Power Systems|
|Owner||Procter & Gamble|
|Previous owners||Mallory Battery Company
The Gillette Company
Duracell is an American brand product line of batteries and smart power systems owned by Procter & Gamble. In November 2014, Berkshire Hathaway announced its intent to acquire the brand for 4.7 billion US dollars.
Duracell manufactures alkaline batteries in many common sizes, such as AAA, AA, C, D, and 9V. Lesser-used sizes such as AAAA (primarily for pagers, penlights, and blood glucose meters) and J size batteries (for hospital devices and photographic strobe flash units) are also manufactured along with a range of "button" batteries using zinc-air, silver-oxide, and lithium chemistries, used in calculators, watches, hearing aids, and other small (mostly medical-related) devices. Duracell entered into a brand licensing agreement with flash memory manufacturer Dane-Elec in 2008 for a line of products including memory cards, hard drives and USB flash drives with the Duracell brand mark and in the brand's trademark "copper top" coloring.
Duracell also manufactures specialty batteries, including NiMH rechargeable batteries and batteries for cameras, watches, hearing aids, etc. Their two main battery brands are "CopperTop (Plus)," marketed as longer-lasting, and "Ultra," directed mainly at users of digital devices and devices that need more power. Duracell also has a line of lithium chemistry batteries and products, now manufactured outside of the U.S.
In 2013, the company released a new "Duracell Quantum" line as their top-performing product series.
In recent years, Duracell's innovations expanded to include new battery designs with their prismatic batteries, which are prismatic in shape rather than cylindrical. Prismatic cells were made available in both alkaline and lithium designs. In 2006, Duracell introduced "Power PixTM" batteries with NiOx technology, designed to supply longer life in digital cameras and other high-drain devices by up to twice the number of photos typically achievable with alkaline batteries.
Duracell batteries are also bulk packaged for end users under the brand name Procell (now Industrial by Duracell).
Duracell originated via the partnership of scientist Samuel Ruben and businessman Philip Rogers Mallory, who met during the 1920s. The P.R. Mallory Company of Burlington, Massachusetts, United States, relocated its headquarters to Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1924. The company produced mercury batteries for military equipment, trumping the carbon-zinc batteries used then in virtually all applications. During the 1950s, Kodak introduced cameras with a flash. The design required a new cell size, and size AAA was developed.
In 1964, the term "Duracell" was introduced as a brand. The name is a portmanteau for "durable cell." Until 1980, the batteries also bore the Mallory brand.
The name came from a conversation with A-1 Durable Carpet & Fabric Specialist Inc. and an executive from Mallory Battery, which were both from Waterbury, CT. The executive called the cleaning company and asked if A-1 Durable Carpet & Fabric Specialist Inc. had a trademark on the name Durable. The executive spoke to the son of the cleaning company, Steven Nobrega. The executive explained how they were thinking of calling a new battery that had a copper cell "Durable Cell" and asked how the name suited the cleaning company. The owner's son explained that his father was the owner of a franchise originally called "Duraclean". His father had chosen the new cleaning company name for the cleaning company by dropping the clean in "Duraclean" and added able to Dura to keep the name similar.
P.R. Mallory was acquired by Dart Industries in 1978, which in turn, merged with Kraft in 1980. Kohlberg Kravis Roberts bought Duracell in 1988 and took the company public in 1989. It was acquired by Gillette in 1996. In 2005, Procter & Gamble acquired Gillette.
In September 2011, Duracell and Powermat Technologies Ltd. have made a joint venture, called Duracell Powermat, to make small wireless charger for mobile phone and small electronics. P&G will own 55 percent of the joint venture shares and the rest is for Powermat. In March 2012, along with Powermat technologies, Duracell, under the Procter & Gamble cooperate umbrella, funded the Power Matters Alliance (PMA), an alliance of leading industry and governmental organizations, that is dedicated to advancing smart and environmentally sound wireless power. AT&T and Starbucks had announced joining the board of the PMA in October, 2012.
On October 24, 2014, Procter & Gamble announced it would spin off Duracell in 2015. On November 14, 2014, Berkshire Hathaway declared its intent to acquire Duracell in an all-stock deal, consisting of $4.7 billion worth of P&G stock currently owned by Berkshire Hathaway.
Duracell's advertising campaigns in the United States have always outlined the reliability of Duracell batteries and usually end with a three-note chime highlighting each syllable in the brand name (and previously highlighting the trademark "copper top" portion of the battery's overlay wrapping). Narrated by actor Jeff Bridges, these campaigns show people using the battery to power the devices they find most important: everything from a Defibrillator to a BrickHouse Child Locator.
- Hintz, Eric S., “Portable Power: Inventor Samuel Ruben and the Birth of Duracell,” Technology and Culture, 50 (Jan. 2009), 24–57.
- Duracell Advances 'Trusted Everywhere' Brand Name To Flash Memory Products
- Duracell® Introduces Quantum™ The World’s Most Advanced Alkaline Battery
- Duracell, Company history
- "Duracell, wireless power company Powermat team up". September 14, 2011.
- Power Matters Alliance Official website
- "Boston-area Starbucks testing wireless smartphone charging; Starbucks, Google and AT&T back PMA standard". October 29, 2012.
- "P&G to shed Duracell". Cincinnati Business Journal. October 24, 2014. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
- Morris, Patrick (14 November 2014). "Why Warren Buffett Just Bought Duracell". Money. Retrieved 14 November 2014.