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RAYOVAC AND MATSUSHITA SIGN TECHNOLOGY AGREEMENT

 RAYOVAC AND MATSUSHITA SIGN TECHNOLOGY AGREEMENT
 MADISON, Wis., Dec. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The Rayovac Corp. and Japan's


Matsushita Battery Industrial Co., Ltd. (MBI) announced today a technology agreement that will enable Rayovac to produce alkaline batteries with a no mercury added formula.
 Under terms of the contract, the technology for no mercury added formula alkaline batteries, developed by MBI, is licensed to Rayovac, which will incorporate the technology into its U.S. based alkaline battery production.
 "Today's announcement is the culmination of our source reduction efforts to make our batteries mercury free," said Rayovac Chairman, President and CEO Thomas F. Pyle Jr. "This is a good example of a global partnership working together on an environmental program beneficial to all."
 Rayovac alkaline batteries currently have a mercury content of 0.025 percent, one of the industry's lowest. The company's heavy duty and general purpose zinc chloride batteries have no mercury formulas.
 "Because of Matsushita's commitment to protecting our environment by reducing dry battery mercury levels, we are pleased to make this technology available to the battery industry, as initially represented by Rayovac, a leading U.S. battery company," said Matsushita President Taro Ishibashi. "In fact, this move is another example of the battery industry's proactive approach to making products that are more compatible with the environment."
 Earlier this year, in Japan, Matsushita -- known for its Panasonic brand -- announced that it would completely stop the use of mercury in alkaline batteries during 1992. Since October 1990, MBI has used the no mercury added formula technology to produce batteries in Belgium.
 Matsushita-made batteries incorporating this technology will be available, in both United States and Japan, in January 1992. The U.S. products marketed by Matsushita will be supplied by the company's plant in Columbus, Ga.
 According to the U.S. Bureau of Mines, the battery industry has decreased its use of mercury by over 90 percent since 1984.
 Formed in 1979 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., MBI has established 15 factories in 12 countries. The company's two U.S. plants are based in Georgia.
 Privately held, Rayovac is an international battery and flashlight manufacturer and the third largest battery company in the United States. The company has nine plants in the U.S. and two in the U.K.
 -0- 12/10/91
 /CONTACT: John Daggett of Rayovac, 608-275-4912 or 619-328-5955 (Calif.) or Justin Camerlengo of Matsushita, 201-392-4437 (New Jersey)/ CO: Rayovac; Matsushita ST: Wisconsin, Georgia IN: SU: CON


AL-DS -- MN001 -- 0869 12/10/91 09:05 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 10, 1991
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