RAYOVAC'S 'RENEWALS' AREN'T THE ONLY RECHARGEABLES IN TOWN; PHOENIX ENERGY CORP. MARKETING SIMILAR BATTERY
BUFFALO, N.Y., June 21 /PRNewswire/ -- "Rayovac's RENEWAL rechargeable batteries aren't the only ones that will be available for consumer consumption," said Frank M. Durham, president and chief operating officer of Phoenix Energy Corporation, Inc. Phoenix Energy Corporation (PEC), headquartered in Buffalo, N.Y., is the exclusive co-licensee with Rayovac for the purpose of manufacturing and marketing reusable alkaline manganese (RAM) batteries and rechargers from Battery Technologies Inc. (BTI), headquartered in Richmond Hill, Ontario. Rayovac and BTI announced on June 15 production and commercial introduction plans for Rayovac's reusable battery product line. "Phoenix Energy was created to capitalize on the economic potential of RAM technology. The goal of PEC is the development, manufacture and sale of the most cost effective, efficient and environmentally safe alternative to single use batteries," Durham said. "Rayovac's plans to launch an extensive multi-media advertising campaign to generate consumer awareness and demand for its RENEWAL battery will only benefit our overall business and marketing efforts," said Durham. Durham joined PEC in May 1993, succeeding Dr. Thomas R. Williamson III as the company's new president. Durham was previously managing director of the Griffin Group, Inc., general management consultants to and co-investors with investor groups, and investment and merchant banks. Prior to that he held senior management positions with Allegheny International, GAF Corporation and the General Electric Company. "Frank brings to Phoenix years of experience as a consumer product strategist, marketer and financial specialist. His enthusiasm and knowledge will be instrumental in helping Phoenix achieve its business goals," said Edward J. Rutkowski, chairman of the board of Phoenix Energy Corporation.
TECHNOLOGY AND PRODUCTION
Under the direction of Dr. Klaus Tomantschger, vice president of production and technology, Phoenix will conduct its research and continued development of the RAM technology at its Production and Technology Center in Mississauga, Ontario. The production line was purchased from BTI at the beginning of 1993. Fifteen technical and production professionals are employed at the Mississauga site. Tomantschger co-invented the RAM technology with Dr. Karl Kordesch, the father of the disposable alkaline battery. He completed his doctoral studies at the University of Graz, Austria, under the direction of Kordesch. Tomantschger joined Phoenix Energy in February 1993. RAM batteries have all the advantages of disposable alkalines, but can be recharged and reused many times rather than being thrown away after one use. Depending upon use, RAM batteries can be recharged as many as 50 to 600 times. As the replacement to single use batteries, the RAM system has the ability to effectively operate approximately 86 percent of the applications found in the international consumer marketplace. The majority of today's rechargeable batteries are used in a wide assortment of portable products including camcorders, communication devices, hand-held vacuums, and other home electronic products such as power tools and cordless shavers. In a variety of cordless applications where the energy drain rate is low to medium, or in high drain products where the use is intermittent, the RAM system will offer a more cost effective alternative to existing rechargeable batteries. It will also be better for the environment, since it will dramatically reduce the need for disposable batteries.
POSITIONING AND INVESTMENTS
Phoenix Energy recently acquired The Battery Company, Inc., an Amherst, N.Y.-based producer of battery packs for specialized markets. "Unlike the mass consumer market where Duracell and Eveready have more than 80 percent market share, the battery pack market involves assembling individual battery cells (typically AA or AAA) into packs containing two or more cells which are then used in cellular phones, portable computers, audio equipment as well as toys and power tools," said Durham. "We see the fastest growth and profit potential in the battery pack market. Battery pack users are educated about recharging and usually frustrated by current rechargeable batteries' shortcomings. Our objective is to fill that market niche with a superior product at a lower cost." Phoenix has successfully completed several private placements and plans to conduct an initial public offering in the near future. Most recently, American Heritage Foundation, the top performance capital appreciation mutual fund in the United States according to Lipper Analytical Services, negotiated the purchase of 600,000 shares of PEC common stock with the rights to purchase additional equity in Phoenix later this year. "This vote of confidence by one of the country's stellar asset managers is of great financial significance to Phoenix," Durham said. The company is poised to begin test production of its RAM battery in the summer of 1993 with test marketing scheduled for the crucial Christmas selling season. -0- 6/21/93 /CONTACT: Frank M. Durham, president of Phoenix Energy Corporation, 716-885-3540; or Susan Asquith of Collins & Company, 716-884-4520, for Phoenix Energy Corporation/
CO: Phoenix Energy Corporation ST: New York IN: HOU SU: PDT
KL -- CL012 -- 4073 06/21/93 13:09 EDT
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|Date:||Jun 21, 1993|
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