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Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc., a Fortune 500 company,[3] is an American diversified company established in 2005 as the successor company to Rayovac Corporation. Rayovac had been located in Wisconsin since its inception as The French Battery Company in 1906.

Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc.
Traded asNYSESPB
Russell 1000 Component
PredecessorRayovac Corporation
FoundedJanuary 17, 1906; 113 years ago (1906-01-17) (as French Battery Company)
Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.
Middleton, Wisconsin
Key people
David Maura, CEO
Doug Martin, EVP & CFO
John Heil, President, Pet Supplies and Co-COO
ProductsBlack & Decker appliances, George Foreman grills, Remington products, Marineland aquariums, Tetra fish care, Dingo dog treats, Spectracide lawn care, Hot Shot home insecticides, Cutter & Repel insect repellents, Schultz plant care, Kwikset locks, etc.
Revenue$5.007 billion (2017)[1]
Number of employees
17,113[2] (2017)
DivisionsGlobal Appliances
Hardware & Home Improvement
Home and Garden
Global Pet Supplies
Global Auto Care
SubsidiariesUnited Industrial Corporation
United Pet Group
Armored AutoGroup

The company manufactures and markets home appliances under the Remington, Black & Decker, George Foreman, and Russell Hobbs brand names, lawn and garden care products under the Spectracide and Garden Safe brand names, and insect repellents under the Cutter and Repel brand names.[4] 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, Nature's Miracle, Lazy Pet, Wonderbox, and others. Both aquarium lines and companion lines are concentrated into Spectrum's United Pet Group based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Spectrum's Hardware & Home Improvement division includes brands such as Kwikset, Baldwin, National Hardware, Pfister, and more.

On February 26, 2018, the company announced it was merging with controlling shareholder HRG Group.[5] As of 2018, Spectrum Brands is ranked #422 on the Fortune 500 rankings of the largest United States corporations by total revenue. [6]

Spectrum manufactured and sold batteries under the Rayovac and Varta brand names, until it sold its battery division to long-time Rayovac competitor Energizer in January 2018.[7] In November 2018, the company sold their global auto care division (brands which included Armor All, STP, and A/C Pro), to Energizer as well.


Ray-O-Vac D-size battery

In 1906, the French Battery Company 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 World War I, and by 1920, the French Battery Company had US$2.74 million in sales and 600 employees, and 1000 employees in 1931.[8]

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.[9] During World War II, Rayovac supplied the United States military with nearly 500 million batteries. As a result of this, they were awarded eight Army-Navy "E" awards for major contributions to victory.

Ray-O-Vac Advertisement USA 1949

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 changeEdit

In 2003, Rayovac decided to diversify,[4] 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.[10] In 2005, Tetra, a major provider of pet-fish products, was acquired. This diversification prompted the name change from Rayovac to Spectrum Brands.[4]

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.[11] 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.[12] The company later emerged from bankruptcy on August 28, 2009.[13][14] Since emerging from Chapter 11, Spectrum has announced year-over-year increases in sales and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization for the second quarter of their fiscal 2010.

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 its corporate headquarters back to Madison. Spectrum Brands moved its headquarters to Middleton, Wisconsin, a suburb of Madison, in October 2013.

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 AutoGroupEdit

On April 28, 2015, Spectrum Brands entered the automotive supply business by acquiring Armored Auto group, with cofinancing by C3 Holdings owned by Texas billionaire heirs Henry Sullivan Richardson of San Antonio and Christopher Maddox Bass of Fort Worth, which make Armor All finishes and STP automotive chemicals among other products.[15]

HRG GroupEdit

On January 16, 2018, the Rayovac division was bought by Energizer for $2 billion.[7] On February 26, 2018, Spectrum Brands announced it was merging with controlling shareholder HRG Group, Inc. The move would not affect the pending sale of its battery division to Energizer. Spectrum management was expected to run the merged entity.[5] The combined company is to be named Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc. and trade under the ticker symbol SPB. The company will remain in Middleton.[16]

Battery productsEdit

Rayovac 1.5V "C" battery

Rayovac manufactures alkaline batteries ranging in size from AAA to 9V, rechargeable nickel–metal hydride 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.[17]


  1. ^ "Fiscal year 2017 report".
  2. ^ "Spectrum Brands Holdings". Fortune. Retrieved 2018-12-24.
  3. ^ "Spectrum Brands Holdings". Fortune. Retrieved 2018-12-24.
  4. ^ 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. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  5. ^ a b "Spectrum Brands to merge with top shareholder HRG in $10 billion deal". Reuters. February 26, 2018. Retrieved February 28, 2018.
  6. ^ "Fortune 500 List".
  7. ^ a b Shivdas, Sanjana (January 16, 2018). "Energizer adds Rayovac batteries to lineup with $2 billion deal". Reuters. Retrieved February 28, 2018.
  8. ^ Levitan, Stuart D. (2006). Madison: 1856-1931. University of Wisconsin Press. p. 201. ISBN 0-299-21674-8.
  9. ^ Rayovac company history timeline Archived June 3, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Rayovac Buys United Industries in $476M Deal". Fox News. Associated Press. January 4, 2005. Retrieved January 12, 2010.
  11. ^ "Rayovac to Acquire Microlite S.A." (Press release). Spectrum Brands. 2006-02-25. Retrieved 2010-06-08.
  12. ^ "Spectrum Brands files for bankruptcy". Associated Press. Retrieved January 11, 2010.
  13. ^ "Spectrum Brands, Inc". Specturm Brands. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
  14. ^ Keating, Gina; Carol Bishopric (2009-08-28). "UPDATE 1-Spectrum Brands exits bankruptcy". Thomson Reuters. Retrieved 2014-01-12.
  15. ^ "HRG Group, Inc. Announces Armored AutoGroup Acquisition By Spectrum Brands". Prnewswire. 2015-04-28. Retrieved 2016-04-04.
  16. ^ Redman, Russell (February 26, 2018). "Spectrum Brands, HRG Group to merge in $10 billion deal". Chain Drug Review. Retrieved February 28, 2018.
  17. ^ Rayovac website

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit