Fennimore residents respond to news of Rayovac sale

Spectrum to sell battery division to Energizer
Fennimore residents respond to news of Rayovac sale

The Wisconsin town that houses the majority of Rayovac employees responded to news of the company’s sale Tuesday, hoping for the best.

Spectrum Brands announced it was selling its Rayovac division in a $2 billion deal with Energizer. Rayovac employs about 700 Wisconsin residents across three locations in Middleton, Portage and Fennimore, where the largest number of workers – around 280 – reside.

“When we first heard about the sale being out there, it kind of made everybody in town a little bit nervous,” said Mayor Ryan Boebel. “Not only for Fennimore, but for the surrounding area and community, as well. Everybody has been touched one way or another by that plant.”

“It’s more of a backbone of better-paying jobs in the area,” said one Fennimore resident.
2nd Shot Bar and Grill attributes a good portion of its sales to Rayovac employees.

“When there’s a shift change, they’ll come in, whether it’s during the day or evening hours, and we host some parties and group functions for Rayovac,” said manager Nichole Day. “To lose any customers after lunch or after hours would really hurt us.”

It’s not clear how the sale will impact Rayovac jobs or plant numbers. Spectrum spokesperson Dave Prichard said keeping people employed was not a point of discussion in the sale.

“It’s day one of the announcement, and so unfortunately it’s not clear yet what the impact will be, and it probably won’t be known for some time,” Prichard said.

“It is important to keep in mind that this announcement is just the first step in the process and it is too early to speculate on any potential changes to the business ,” Energizer Holdings, Inc. said in a statement to News 3.

Mayor Boebel is encouraged by the figure agreed upon between Spectrum and Rayovac, hoping the new owners will invest more in the plant and keep the Fennimore area thriving.

“The city of Fennimore, we look forward to working with them and helping them in any way we can to keep things going out there,” he said.

Spectrum spokesperson Mr. Prichard said the deal should be closed by the end of the year.