Victorinox acquires rival Wenger

May 2005

Victorinox, the largest official manufacturer of Swiss Army knives, has acquired Wenger, its only competitor.

The purchase will allow production of the genuine knives to remain in Switzerland and will provide Wenger with the financial backing it needs to continue its operations, a press statement from Victorinox said of the deal.

“Keeping the Swiss cross in Swiss hands is the best way to move forward,” Victorinox Director Carl Elsener, said in the statement, adding that the purchase would put the firms on a better footing to compete with cheap copies.

The two Swiss Army knife manufacturers will each maintain their own brands under the deal. The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States hurt the Swiss knife industry because although airline passengers can buy the knives in duty free stores, they can no longer take them on aircraft as carry-on luggage.

Together, the two companies manufacture some 25.7 million knives and export them to around 150 countries.