mont blanc routes 561 MILLION FOR PARKER PEN
The Gillette Company, which in addition to shaving products makes Paper Mate, Flair and Waterman pens, agreed today to pay $:285 million ($561 million) for Parker Pen Holdings Ltd. of Britain. The deal will make Gillette, which is the world’s largest shaving supplies company, the world’s largest pen maker, with a 15 percent share of the $5 billion world market. Bic holds about 8 percent; other rivals are Cross, Mont Blanc and Pentel.
Parker, which had been up for sale since last year, was attractive because it had consistent 20 percent operating profits over the last four years, said Alfred M. Zeien, Gillette’s chairman. The company’s sales grew 7 percent to 9 percent annually over the last few years and profits are rising “well in excess of that,” he said. Joel Davis, vice president of Gillette’s stationery division, said Gillette and Parker “complement each other with different geographic strengths, price point positioning and distribution channels.” Gillette’s shares fell 37.5 cents yesterday, to $57. Parker, founded in the United States in 1888, was acquired by investors led by Schroder Ventures in 1986. Parker had sales of $:181 million and profits of $:35.9 million before taxes and interest for the year ended Feb. 28.