Zippo Acquires Lighter Maker Ronson

One of the iconic names in the lighter business has acquired one of the industry's oldest names. On February 3, Zippo Manufacturing Co. completed its acquisition of most of the assets of lighter maker Ronson. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Zippo was founded in 1932, while Ronson dates back to 1886 with its predecessor company, the Art Metal Works, and began selling lighters in 1913. Both companies made their fame on fuel-based lighters, which use a wick and a flint and burn lighter fluid. Zippo more recently released a butane torch lighter called the Zippo Blu, aimed at the cigar smoker.

While Zippo and Ronson are big players in the mass-market lighter business, and far less of a factor in high-end cigar shops, a lighter industry executive said he thought the brands would complement one another.

"Adding the venerable Ronson trademark to our family of brands provides an opportunity to expand our business, particularly leveraging Ronson's competitive position in the lighter and fuels markets," said Zippo president and chief executive officer Greg Booth in a release. "We are very excited about the growth opportunities for both brands."

For more on this story, see the current issue of Cigar Insider.