Spectrum Brands

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Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc.
Traded as NYSESPB
Russell 1000 Component
Industry Electric Housewares Mfg
Artificial Plants Mfg
Battery Mfg
Pesticide Mfg
Lighting Equipment Mfg
Predecessor Rayovac Corporation
Founded January 17, 1906; 112 years ago (1906-01-17) (as French Battery Company)
Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.
Headquarters Middleton, Wisconsin, U.S.
Key people
David Maura, Chair
Andreas Rouvé, CEO
Doug Martin, EVP & CFO
John Heil, President, Pet Supplies and Co-COO
Products Rayovac & Varta batteries, Rayovac lighting, Remington personal appliances, Marineland aquariums, Tetra fish care, Dingo dog treats, Spectracide lawn care, Hot Shot home insecticides, Cutter & Repel insect repellents, Schultz plant care
Revenue $3,187 million[1]
Number of employees
12,000 [2]
Divisions Global Batteries & Appliances
Hardware & Home Improvement
Home and Garden
Global Pet Supplies
Global Auto Care
Subsidiaries United Industrial Corporation
United Pet Group
Armored AutoGroup
Website spectrumbrands.com

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, Rayovac has been bought by Energizer on January 16


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.[3] 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.


Ray-O-Vac D-size battery

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.[4]

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.[5]

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.[citation needed] In 1988, the name was simplified to Rayovac.

Diversification and name change[edit]

In 2003, Rayovac decided to diversify,[3] 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.[6] In 2005, Tetra, a major provider of pet-fish products, was acquired. This diversification prompted the name change from Rayovac to Spectrum Brands.[3]

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.[7] 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.[citation needed]

On February 3, 2009, Spectrum filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.[8] The company later emerged from bankruptcy on August 28, 2009.[2][9] 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.[edit]

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[edit]

On April 28, 2015, Spectrum Brands entered the automotive supply business by acquiring Armored Auto group, with cofinancing by C3 Holdings owned by billionaires Christopher Sullivan Richardson and Christopher Maddox Bass of Texas, which make Armor All finishes and STP automotive chemicals among other products.[10]

Battery products[edit]

Rayovac 1.5V 'C' battery

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.[11]


  1. ^ "Fiscal year 2011 report". 
  2. ^ a b "Spectrum Brands, Inc". SpectrumBrands.com. Specturm Brands. Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c Justin Rubner (August 18, 2006). "Spectrum CEO: Company could sell Rayovac". Atlanta Business Chronicle. Archived from the original on June 10, 2016. Retrieved January 12, 2010. 
  4. ^ Stuart D. Levitan (ed), Madison: The Illustrated Sesquicentennial History Vol. 1, University of Wisconsin Press, 2006 ISBN 0-299-21674-8, p 201.
  5. ^ Rayovac company history timeline Archived June 3, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "Rayovac Buys United Industries in $476M Deal". Fox News. Associated Press. January 4, 2005. Retrieved January 12, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Rayovac to Acquire Microlite S.A." (Press release). Spectrum Brands. 2006-02-25. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  8. ^ "Spectrum Brands files for bankruptcy". msnbc.com. Associated Press. Retrieved January 11, 2010. 
  9. ^ Keating, Gina; Carol Bishopric (2009-08-28). "UPDATE 1-Spectrum Brands exits bankruptcy". Reuters.com. Thomson Reuters. Retrieved 2014-01-12. 
  10. ^ "HRG Group, Inc. Announces Armored AutoGroup Acquisition By Spectrum Brands". Prnewswire. 2015-04-28. Retrieved 2016-04-04. 
  11. ^ Rayovac website

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]