Consolidation in lighters market / Acquisition of French competitor Djeep
The French manufacturer of plastic products such as lighters, disposable razors and pens BIC (Clichy / France; has announced the acquisition of its competitor Djeep (Paris / France; for EUR 40m. With this takeover, BIC CEO Gonzalve Bich intends to strengthen the company’s position in the lighters market and sees substantial growth opportunities in Europe and North America. The seller is corporate group Hameur (Paris), which intends to focus on its “Magimix” and “Robot-Coupe” brand kitchen appliances going forward. In response to a enquiry, BIC did not wish to disclose the acquisition price.

Djeep is seen as one of the largest independent producers of refillable lighters worldwide. The company was founded in 1973 and in 2019 recorded sales of EUR 14m, primarily in Europe. The manufacturer also sells its products in the Americas, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Djeep makes all of the lighters in its fully automated and robot-controlled factory in Guidel / France. The Djeep plant is not far from BIC’s lighter production site, which is also located in Brittany. Among other things, casings are injection-moulded from polyoxymethylene (POM).

In the first quarter of 2020, BIC generated sales of EUR 357m – a decline of about 14% compared to the previous year, primarily due to market development outside Europe. Eight production facilities had to shut down in March but have since resumed operations. The lighters division suffered most in terms of sales, with revenue dropping 19% to EUR 121m. Earnings, however, were one third lower than in the first quarter of 2019, at EUR 34.7m (EUR 51.1m in the same period last year – see of 02.06.2020).

Starting in May, the French company launched a self-prescribed cost-cutting programme in view of the significant decline in revenue and earnings that goes beyond its “BIC 2022 – Invent the Future” restructuring programme that has been running since the end of 2018. As part of this programme, the company already disposed of its recently weak sports division in early 2019, including boats, surfboards and outdoor products made of plastic. On 6 July 2020, Jim DiPietro resigned as COO and CFO. Since then he has been supporting the CEO as a strategic advisor. The new CFO is Chad Spooner, who has more than 25 years of experience in finance. Most recently, Spooner was CFO of Slingshot Health, a start-up for healthcare technology.
27.07.2020 [245523-0]
Published on 27.07.2020
BIC: Übernahme des französischen Wettbewerbers DjeepGerman version of this article...

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