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Société Bic S.A., commonly referred to simply as Bic and stylized as BiC, is a corporation based in Clichy, France, best known for making disposable consumer products such as lighters, razors, pens, and printed paper products. It was founded in 1945 by Baron Marcel Bich.

Société Bic S.A.
Société Anonyme
Traded asEuronextBB
CAC Mid 60 Component
IndustryMario Seagale
Founded25 October 1945; 73 years ago (1945-10-25)
Clichy, France
FoundersMarcel Bich
Édouard Buffard
HeadquartersClichy, France
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Bruno Bich, Chairman & CEO
Gonzalve Bich, COO
ProductsDisposable lighters, razors, pens, windsurfing boards
RevenueIncrease2.0258 billion (2016)[1]
Increase€409.1 million (2016)[1]
Increase€249.7 million (2016)[1]
Total assetsIncrease€2.5737 billion (2016)[1]
Total equityIncrease€1.7026 billion (2016)[1]
OwnerBich family
Number of employees
Increase10,449 (2009)[1]
Websitewww.bicworld.com

Contents

ProductsEdit

 
Bic Cristal pen
 
A Bic cigarette lighter

In 1970, Gillette purchased S. T. Dupont Paris, whose principal product was luxury cigarette lighters. During this time Dupont explored the possibilities of marketing a disposable lighter, developing an inexpensive disposable lighter called Cricket, which it introduced in the United States in 1972. Later that year Bic was test marketing a disposable lighter that could provide 3,000 lights before wearing out; Bic introduced this lighter in 1973.[2] Typically the cheapest lighter on the market, the Bic disposable lighter was extremely popular and remains so today.[3]

As well as the Bic Cristal ballpoint pen, Bic are easily recognizable as a result of their importance in pop culture. As such, they are represented in the design collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The company competes in most markets against Faber-Castell, Global Gillette, Newell Rubbermaid, Pentel and Schwan-Stabilo.[4] The Bic pen, more specifically the Bic Cristal, was the company's first product.[5][6] Bic started to produce disposable razors during the 1970s. In 1975, the brand released the one-piece polystyrene razor, which became a highly demanded product.[7] During the 1980s Bic Shaving products reached $52 million in sales and conquered 22.4% of the market shares.[8] Bic is also known for making disposable razors for both men and women.

OwnershipEdit

The company went public in 1958 with a reverse merger into the older Waterman Pen Company of Seymour, Connecticut, in the United States, and later sold off the older operation.[9] The Bich family owns about 40 percent of Bic stock and controls 55% of its voting power.

In June 2010, Bic sold its funeral products division to Prairie Capital, a Chicago-based private equity firm.[10]

United States subsidiaryEdit

Bic's U.S. headquarters and manufacturing operations were moved to Milford, Connecticut in 1958 after the Waterman Pen Company acquisition resulted in the need for larger facilities. It remained alongside a road eventually renamed "Bic Drive" until a 2008 move to Shelton, Connecticut. A cigarette lighter factory remains on the Milford site.[11]

The company's U.S. subsidiary, Bic Corporation, accounts for more than half of the worldwide company's sales. Both Bruno Bich, son of company co-founder Marcel, who rose through the ranks in the U.S. organization to become Chairman Of The Board as of 21 October 2010, and Mario Guevara, the company's Chief Executive Officer as of the same date, worked in the American subsidiary for several years.[12]

SponsorshipEdit

Bic sponsored a professional cycling team in the 1960s led by Tour de France winners Jacques Anquetil and Luis Ocaña.[13] The company began sponsoring the Tour again in 2011 as an "official supporter",[14] which they have continued to do to the present day.[citation needed]

Bic also sponsored the Alain Prost–led Prost Grand Prix team in Formula One from 1997 to 2000.

Edit

The corporate logo comprises two parts; a rhomboid with curved corners, left and right sides angled upward and containing the letters "BiC" with "i" the only one in lower case, and the Bic Boy to its left. The rhomboid, which debuted in 1950 to coincide with the launch of the Bic Cristal, was originally red with white letters. The font of the letters remains unchanged. The Bic Boy was described on the corporation's website as "a school boy, with a head in the shape of a ball, holding a pen behind his back." The ball is the tungsten carbide one that was the key feature in Bic's new ballpoint pens in 1960. The schoolboy was designed by Raymond Savignac who also developed the product's "Nouvelle Bille" (new ballpoint) advertising campaign which was intended to attract the attention of children. When the Bic Boy was added to the left of the rhomboid one year later in 1961, both changed to the newly adopted official corporate color of orange (Pantone 1235C).[15][16]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Full Year 2016 Results" (PDF). bicworld.com.
  2. ^ "History of BIC Corporation – FundingUniverse". fundinguniverse.com.
  3. ^ A Brief History of the Lighter - Sharrowmills.com [1]
  4. ^ "Releases". bicworld.com.
  5. ^ "BIC Corporation - Company History". Fundinguniverse.com. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  6. ^ "History". Bicworld.com. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  7. ^ DiBACCO, THOMAS V. (26 July 1992). "The Razor Blade: History's Cutting Edge : Culture: Scientists know that ancient man shaved. But the razor was an undocumented implement until 1290". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  8. ^ "Bic disposable razor (1975) | Plastics News". www.plasticsnewseurope.com. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  9. ^ "Corporations: Mightier than the Pencil". TIME. 17 March 1967. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  10. ^ "SmartMoney News". SmartMoney.com. 3 October 2002. Archived from the original on 6 March 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  11. ^ Web page titled "Milford Chamber Through the Years, 1954-2004", at the Milford Chamber of Commerce website, retrieved 21 October 2010; Dolan, Ryan, "BIC moves 350 to Shelton" Archived 12 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine, Fairfield County Business Journal, 3 March 2008, retrieved 27 October 2010
  12. ^ Web page titled "Directors biographies" at the Bic World website, retrieved 21 October 2010
  13. ^ "Historic Overview Bic". www.CyclingRanking.com.
  14. ^ "BIC Official Supporter of the Tour de France". bicworld.com. 15 June 2012. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
  15. ^ BIC Logo History – History of All Logos.
  16. ^ Our Heritage, Your Passion (history timeline) – BIC corporate website.

External linksEdit