Zippo Manufacturing Company Completes Acquisition of D.D.M. Italia

Newly Created Zippo Fashion Italia Will Continue To Market

Extensive Line of Handbags and Accessories



Apr 05, 2004, 01:00 ET from Zippo Manufacturing Company

    BRADFORD, Pa., April 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Zippo Manufacturing Company today
 announced that it has completed its acquisition of D.D.M. Italia, a leading
 Italian marketer of leather goods and fashion accessories. Headquartered in
 Vicenza, D.D.M. Italia manufactures and distributes a broad line of handbags
 and other products under the brand name Zippo. Both companies are privately
 held and financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
     (Photo: NewsCom:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20040405/CLM049 )
     Zippo and D.D.M. Italia are leaders within their respective product
 categories in Italy. Despite both products drawing on the Zippo name, their
 distinctive brand identities and positioning have allowed them to coexist and
 steadily increase market share over the past 25 years.
     Zippo successfully leveraged the global recognition of its windproof
 pocket lighter and markets products in tobacco shops throughout Italy. D.D.M.
 Italia established its reputation by designing stylish handbags that are
 practical and affordable. In addition to an extensive collection of Zippo
 handbags, the line also includes belts and wallets. Products are sold through
 more than 1,500 leather goods boutiques and shops in Europe, with 80% of sales
 in Italy.
     "One fundamental similarity between these companies is that both are
 family-owned businesses with quality products and strong brand awareness,"
 said Greg Booth, President and CEO of Zippo Manufacturing Company. "This is a
 strategic venture aimed at protecting the integrity of each brand and
 strengthening our presence within Europe and other international markets."
     D.D.M. Italia will become Zippo Fashion Italia, SRL., a wholly owned
 subsidiary of Zippo Manufacturing Company. Each company will operate as
 separate Zippo brands.
     "D.D.M. Italia continues to flourish and we see no reason to alter their
 management structure or business strategy, with the exception of supporting
 expanded penetration of Zippo hand bags with a focus on Europe and Asia," said
 Booth. "In addition, this relationship allows us to explore unique
 opportunities such as Zippo Fashion Italia manufacturing men's leather
 accessories to be marketed through current Zippo Manufacturing Company
 distribution channels."
     G. Andrea Oberegelsbacher, managing director for Zippo Fashion Italia,
 commented, "When it comes to worldwide brand recognition, it is hard to find
 many companies on Zippo's level. Zippo Manufacturing Company has employed an
 aggressive growth plan in recent years, which has resulted in distribution in
 more than 150 countries. We hope to leverage their brand building and business
 development expertise to open doors to new markets for Zippo Fashion Italia."
 
     About Zippo
     Zippo Manufacturing Company, founded in 1932, is a leading global marketer
 of refillable windproof pocket and utility lighters with an unparalleled
 lifetime guarantee. Based in Bradford, Pennsylvania, the company and its 1,100
 employees manufacture and distribute products to more than 150 countries.
 Zippo also owns and operates W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery, one of America's oldest
 and finest cutlery manufacturers. For more information about Zippo please
 visit zippo.com.
 
     About D.D.M. Italia  (now Zippo Fashion Italia)
     D.D.M. Italia, founded in 1978, has established the Zippo fashion brand as
 a leader in the field of ladies' handbags, professional briefcases, and ladies
 and men's accessories made of leather, textile and synthetic materials. D.D.M.
 Italia is based in Vicenza, Italy, and has 250 employees. The company produces
 more than 25 lines per season, including belts, wallets and shoes. The Zippo
 fashion brand is known for its ability to combine good quality materials and
 fresh, original styles with affordable prices. D.D.M. Italia has strongly
 established the Zippo fashion brand in Italy and has recently experienced
 significant growth in the rest of Europe. For more information about Zippo
 Fashion Italia please visit zippobags.com .
 
      Media Contact:
      Jeff Webster
      Blattner Brunner
      412-995-9541
      jwebster@blattnerbrunner.com
 
 

SOURCE Zippo Manufacturing Company
    BRADFORD, Pa., April 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Zippo Manufacturing Company today
 announced that it has completed its acquisition of D.D.M. Italia, a leading
 Italian marketer of leather goods and fashion accessories. Headquartered in
 Vicenza, D.D.M. Italia manufactures and distributes a broad line of handbags
 and other products under the brand name Zippo. Both companies are privately
 held and financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
     (Photo: NewsCom:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20040405/CLM049 )
     Zippo and D.D.M. Italia are leaders within their respective product
 categories in Italy. Despite both products drawing on the Zippo name, their
 distinctive brand identities and positioning have allowed them to coexist and
 steadily increase market share over the past 25 years.
     Zippo successfully leveraged the global recognition of its windproof
 pocket lighter and markets products in tobacco shops throughout Italy. D.D.M.
 Italia established its reputation by designing stylish handbags that are
 practical and affordable. In addition to an extensive collection of Zippo
 handbags, the line also includes belts and wallets. Products are sold through
 more than 1,500 leather goods boutiques and shops in Europe, with 80% of sales
 in Italy.
     "One fundamental similarity between these companies is that both are
 family-owned businesses with quality products and strong brand awareness,"
 said Greg Booth, President and CEO of Zippo Manufacturing Company. "This is a
 strategic venture aimed at protecting the integrity of each brand and
 strengthening our presence within Europe and other international markets."
     D.D.M. Italia will become Zippo Fashion Italia, SRL., a wholly owned
 subsidiary of Zippo Manufacturing Company. Each company will operate as
 separate Zippo brands.
     "D.D.M. Italia continues to flourish and we see no reason to alter their
 management structure or business strategy, with the exception of supporting
 expanded penetration of Zippo hand bags with a focus on Europe and Asia," said
 Booth. "In addition, this relationship allows us to explore unique
 opportunities such as Zippo Fashion Italia manufacturing men's leather
 accessories to be marketed through current Zippo Manufacturing Company
 distribution channels."
     G. Andrea Oberegelsbacher, managing director for Zippo Fashion Italia,
 commented, "When it comes to worldwide brand recognition, it is hard to find
 many companies on Zippo's level. Zippo Manufacturing Company has employed an
 aggressive growth plan in recent years, which has resulted in distribution in
 more than 150 countries. We hope to leverage their brand building and business
 development expertise to open doors to new markets for Zippo Fashion Italia."
 
     About Zippo
     Zippo Manufacturing Company, founded in 1932, is a leading global marketer
 of refillable windproof pocket and utility lighters with an unparalleled
 lifetime guarantee. Based in Bradford, Pennsylvania, the company and its 1,100
 employees manufacture and distribute products to more than 150 countries.
 Zippo also owns and operates W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery, one of America's oldest
 and finest cutlery manufacturers. For more information about Zippo please
 visit zippo.com.
 
     About D.D.M. Italia  (now Zippo Fashion Italia)
     D.D.M. Italia, founded in 1978, has established the Zippo fashion brand as
 a leader in the field of ladies' handbags, professional briefcases, and ladies
 and men's accessories made of leather, textile and synthetic materials. D.D.M.
 Italia is based in Vicenza, Italy, and has 250 employees. The company produces
 more than 25 lines per season, including belts, wallets and shoes. The Zippo
 fashion brand is known for its ability to combine good quality materials and
 fresh, original styles with affordable prices. D.D.M. Italia has strongly
 established the Zippo fashion brand in Italy and has recently experienced
 significant growth in the rest of Europe. For more information about Zippo
 Fashion Italia please visit zippobags.com .
 
      Media Contact:
      Jeff Webster
      Blattner Brunner
      412-995-9541
      jwebster@blattnerbrunner.com
 
 SOURCE  Zippo Manufacturing Company