Friday, 12 August 2011

Places: France/ The History of... BIC.

Sourced from the Wikipedia page 'Société Bic'...because I live dangerously...

Société Bic (pronounced "Bick" in English) (Euronext: BB) is a company based in Clichy, France, founded in 1945, by Baron Marcel Bich known for making disposable products including lighters, magnets, ballpoint pens, shaving razors and watersports products. It competes in most markets against Faber-Castell, Global Gillette, Newell Rubbermaid and Schwan-Stabilo. The Bic pen, more correctly the Bic Cristal, was the company's first product and 50 years later is still synonymous with the name Bic.


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. 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.

United States subsidiary

After buying the Waterman Pen Company in Seymour, Connecticut in 1958, Bic needed a larger space for its U.S. headquarters and manufacturing operation, so the headquarters was moved to nearby Milford, Connecticut, where it remained on a road eventually renamed "Bic Drive" until 2008, when the headquarters moved to Shelton, Connecticut. A lighter factory remains on the Milford site.
The company's U.S. subsidiary, BIC Corporation, accounts for more than half of the worldwide company's sales. Both Bruno Bich, the current chairman of the board, who rose through the ranks in the U.S. organization, and Mario Guevara, the current chief executive officer, worked in the American subsidiary for several years.


Bic sponsored a professional cycling team in the 1960s and 70s, led by Tour de France winners Jacques Anquetil and Luis Ocaña. Bic also sponsored the Alain Prost led Prost Grand Prix team in Formula One from 1997 to 2000.

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