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Avery Dennison Corporation Business Information, Profile, and History

150 North Orange Grove Boulevard
Pasadena, California 91103

Company Perspectives:

Our Vision for Global Leadership: We are committed to being the world leader in products, services and solutions that enable and transform the way consumers and businesses gather, distribute and communicate information.

With innovative products and services, well-known brands and leading-edge technologies, we serve a broad and ever-changing spectrum of consumer and industrial markets all over the world--from graphics and packaging, to variable imprinting and automotive, to home and office products. Our products fit the evolving markets of advanced and developing economies--with consumer needs in mind.

We will continue to take our technologies and capabilities into new markets around the world. To expand our existing core businesses. Or to create new ones.

History of Avery Dennison Corporation

Avery Dennison Corporation was formed in the fall of 1990 by the merger of two Fortune 500 companies, Avery International Corporation, based in Pasadena, California, and Dennison Manufacturing Company, headquartered in Framingham, Massachusetts. Best known for its office labels, the merged firm also manufactures consumer packaging labels, self-adhesive stamps, Marks-A-Lot and HI-LITER markers, automotive films and labels, tapes, specialty chemicals, battery-testing labels, notebooks and three-ring binders, and stationery. Increasingly active internationally, Avery Dennison generated 40 percent of its revenues in 2001 outside of the United States.

The two companies had a relationship that dated to 1941, when, following the resolution of a patent dispute involving a dispenser for self-adhesive labels, Dennison became Avery's customer. Avery supplied labels to Dennison that the Massachusetts company sold under the brand name Pres-a-ply, competing with Avery products. By formally joining their two companies Avery and Dennison now share a history dating back more than 155 years.

Dennison Manufacturing Company: 19th-Century Origins

Dennison Manufacturing began in 1844 when Aaron Dennison, a Boston jeweler, returned to his family home in Brunswick, Maine, and with his father, Andrew Dennison, and his sisters began making paper boxes. The father and son soon created a machine to facilitate the making of cardboard boxes. At the time most jewel boxes were imported semiannually; the new Dennison business had a ready-made domestic market.

Andrew Dennison presided over the manufacturing of the boxes while Aaron continued working at his jewelry business. As a sideline he purchased materials for the boxes and sold the finished product. In 1849 Aaron Dennison became a full-time manufacturer of the machine-made watch, turning the sales end of the box business over to his younger brother, Eliphalet Whorf (E. W.) Dennison.

Fourteen years later, the family business was a partnership, Dennison and Company, between E.W. Dennison and three nonfamily members. Working out of a small factory in Boston, the company produced jewelry tags, display cards, and shipping tags, while the boxes continued to be made in Maine. The development of the shipping tag represented Dennison's continuing attempt to diversify, to provide a better product than was currently available, and to create new markets. In 1863 Dennison patented the placement of a paper washer on each side of the hole in a shipping tag, thus providing a more durable tag. Dennison and Company sold ten million tags that first year.

By 1878 the company had a large factory in Roxbury, Massachusetts, the box plant in Brunswick, Maine, and stores in New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago. The company incorporated, becoming the Dennison Manufacturing Company, headed by E.W. Dennison. Henry B. Dennison, E.W.'s son, became president in 1886, the year of his father's death. He served until 1892, when a conflict between the production end, which was Henry's responsibility, and the sales management led to his resignation. Henry K. Dyer, based in New York, became president.

The company returned to family leadership in 1909 when Charles Dennison, another son of E.W., became president. He had previously held positions as vice-president and treasurer. In 1911 Charles Dennison presided over the reincorporation of the company under the same name. When the company originally incorporated in 1878, the managers held all of the stock. Under the terms of E.W. Dennison's will, however, employees participated in profit sharing, receiving stock and the privilege of purchasing additional stock under favorable terms. Over time, people not directly involved in manufacturing acquired on the basis of stock ownership substantial influence on the board and were able to direct policy in ways that Dennison family members found undesirable. The reincorporation plan, spearheaded by Charles Dennison and his nephew Henry Sturgis Dennison, a director of the company, returned control to the managers of production through creation of different categories of stock.

In 1898 under Dyer's direction all of the company's manufacturing operations had been centralized in Framingham, Massachusetts. Under the reincorporation plan, sales operations as well moved to Framingham. By 1911 Dennison Manufacturing's line included tags, gummed labels, paper boxes, greeting cards, sealing wax, and crepe paper. The firm supplied a variety of stationery and paper goods. There were Dennison stores in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis, and in London, England.

Crepe paper eventually became a major sales item for Dennison Manufacturing Company. In the 1870s the firm began to import tissue paper from England to sell to retail jewelers. Its supplier also provided it with colored paper, which was sold to novelty companies. Crinkling the paper expanded its uses; by 1914 Dennison manufactured its own crepe paper.

The production of crepe paper led to the creation of a line of holiday supplies, including Christmas tags and seals. Eventually the company manufactured items for all of the major holidays including Halloween, St. Valentine's Day, Easter, and St. Patrick's Day. Dennison also had a thriving side business selling pamphlets about parties, crafts, and holidays, highlighting the many uses of Dennison products, particularly crepe paper. The holiday line folded because of declining profits in 1967.

Progressive Management in Early 20th Century

In 1917 Henry Sturgis Dennison, grandson of E.W. Dennison, became president of the company; he held the position for 35 years. As a believer in the scientific management theories of Frederick W. Taylor, Dennison initiated many reforms, including reduction in working hours, establishment of health services and personnel departments, creation of an unemployment fund, and nonmanagerial profit sharing.

Although Henry Dennison served as president of Dennison Manufacturing Company until his death in 1952, he made a significant mark on the world outside the family business. Dennison served as a member of the Commercial Economy Board of the National Defense Council during World War I and, following the war, served as a member of President Warren G. Harding's unemployment conference. He was the author of several books, including Profit Sharing: Its Principles and Practice, 1918, written with Arthur W. Burritt and others; Toward Full Employment, 1938, written with Lincoln Filene and other industrialists; and Modern Competition and Business Policy, 1938, coauthored with John Kenneth Galbraith.

Many businessmen did not support President Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal; Dennison did, chairing the Industrial Advisory Board of the National Recovery Administration (NRA). This body examined all NRA codes while they were being developed. When the U.S. Supreme Court declared many of the NRA's codes unconstitutional, Dennison became an adviser to the National Resources Planning Board.

During the Great Depression, Dennison Manufacturing suffered, along with the rest of the nation, recording net losses in both 1931 and 1932. The following year the company recovered, once again showing a profit. Profits, however, did not return to pre-Depression levels, making recapitalization necessary and rendering inoperative the profit sharing plan of 1911.

The war economy of the 1940s helped put Dennison back on its feet, and in 1942 sales passed the level of 1929. By 1951 sales were $37.3 million and net earnings were $2.1 million.

Henry S. Dennison suffered a heart attack in 1937 and turned over the active management of the company to John S. Keir, vice-president. Dennison's death in 1952 ended more than 100 years of Dennison family leadership of the Dennison Manufacturing Company.

Attempts at Diversification in the 1960s and 1970s

During the 1960s Dennison experienced further change when, in 1962, it incorporated in Nevada, in a move to decrease taxes. In 1966 Nelson S. Gifford became a director of the company.

By the 1960s analysts considered Dennison Manufacturing Company as part of the label, or marking, industry. Its major operations focused on paper and tag conversion and the production of imprinting and price-ticketing machines.

In 1964 Dennison became the majority shareholder in Paul Williams Copier Corporation. This step was part of its strategy for producing a copier to challenge Xerox. The plan originated in 1957, when, under license from RCA, Dennison began work on a dry copier that differed in several important technological ways from Xerox machines.

Dennison also produced print-punch machines for generating price tags in a relationship with Cummins, the maker of Data Read Machines. Dennison in the 1960s was a high-tech firm, particularly in the arena of packaging. The company could, through an instantaneous heat process, transfer a graphic design to plastic. The process, therimage, was cheaper than more conventional methods.

Building on this technological base, Dennison continued to invest heavily in research and development. In 1979 Dennison formed a joint partnership with Canada Development Corporation (CDC)--Delphax--to develop high-speed, nonimpact printers. Using proprietary technology, the company sought to create products to compete with laser printers. Xerox subsequently bought CDC's 50 percent interest in Delphax.

Late 1980s Retrenchment

In the 1980s Dennison's other technological ventures took it further afield. The company held the majority interest in Biological Technology Corporation, which was working on diagnostic products, using researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. Potential products included pregnancy test supplies.

Returning to its office products base, Dennison stayed abreast of computer technology, producing floppy discs as well as office furniture. In the 1980s Dennison's stationery division accounted for almost half of sales and profits. The attempt to develop a copier to challenge Xerox, begun in 1957, had not succeeded.

In 1985 Dennison experienced a significant economic downturn, which prompted a five-year restructuring plan. A large source of Dennison's problems came from heavy investments in research and development. Streamlining for the next two years, Dennison sold seven businesses and shut down four others. This process left the company with three key businesses: stationery, systems, and packaging. The stationery division, actually two units, Dennison National and Dennison Carter, remained the major contributor to profits. Systems was divided into retail and industrial units, produced bar-code printing machines, and was the world's leading manufacturer of plastic price-tag threads. The ongoing restructuring plan involved the consolidation of Dennison National and Dennison Carter, and the integration of systems was scheduled for completion in 1990.

Because of the company's commitment to this program, the news in the spring of 1990 of a merger between Dennison and Avery caught industry observers by surprise. Both companies, however, had been suffering depressed earnings and sought strength in union.

Avery International Corporation: Founded 1935

R. Stanton Avery founded the company that would eventually become part of Avery Dennison Corporation in 1935 with capital of less than $100 from his future wife, Dorothy Durfee. Avery created Kum-Kleen Adhesive Products Co. to produce self-adhesive labels using machinery he had developed while working at the Adhere Paper Company.

Based in Los Angeles, Kum-Kleen first marketed its labels to gift shops and antique stores and then expanded to other retail establishments, including furniture, hardware, and drugstores. In 1938, Avery Adhesives, the company's new name, suffered a fire that destroyed all of its equipment except a stock of labels. While rebuilding, Avery implemented changes in the die-cutting machinery; the technology Stan Avery developed remained the standard for the industry.

Before the development of self-adhesives, labels were either pregummed or applied with glue. Initially self-adhesive labels did not have a coating that would facilitate removal of the label from its backing and, therefore, they were difficult to use. Early labels were punched rather than cut. The innovation of Avery Adhesives occurred on two levels: technological, improving and streamlining the manufacturing process; and product definition, creating a market.

World War II and the total economic mobilization it necessitated created problems for Avery Adhesives as well as for other industries. The raw materials necessary to produce the adhesive for the labels, natural and synthetic rubber and solvents derived from petroleum, were required by the military. Avery Adhesives, needing permission from the federal government to continue production and to obtain materials, focused on manufacturing industrial items rather than the labels for consumer goods it had previously produced. Among the products were waterproof labels bearing "S.O.S." in Morse code that were stuck on rescue radios. When the war ended, this focus on labels for industrial and commercial uses persisted. The war economy hastened market acceptance of pressure-sensitive labels.

Postwar Incorporation

In 1946 Avery Adhesives incorporated, becoming the Avery Adhesive Label Corporation. At the time of incorporation, more than 80 percent of the company's output consisted of industrial labels that were sold to manufacturers who placed them on their own products, usually consumer items, using automatic label-dispensing machines. The original retail base of Avery Adhesives persisted, providing 10 percent of output. The company sold unprinted labels in dispenser flat-pack boxes to stationery stores and other retail establishments through a distribution network. The final aspect of the new corporation's business consisted of selling pressure-sensitive material to printers and others who used them in other products, such as masking tape. Tape rolls produced by Avery were used in the manufacturing of department store price labels. This aspect of Avery's business, which contributed 10 percent to output, was known as converting. These industrial categories were the forerunners of Avery's divisions in the 1960s and 1970s.

In the 1940s Avery perceived itself as the only company in the self-adhesive label industry to offer a full line of products. Competition did exist for transparent mending tape, not part of Avery's line. Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing was the leader in that field.

A challenge to Avery occurred in the 1950s in the form of a patent suit. Avery had taken out a patent for its method of producing self-adhesive labels. Because other self-adhesive products predated Stan Avery's technological innovations, the label itself could not be patented. In 1950 Avery Adhesive brought suit against Ever Ready Label Corporation, then the leader in the industry, alleging infringement on Avery's basic patent. In 1952 a New Jersey court ruled against Avery, stating that there was "not an invention" and that the patent was only a method, not a unique product.

Meeting the Challenge: The 1960s

The loss of the patent had serious consequences for Avery, ultimately changing the nature of its business, and had a ripple effect on the self-adhesive and label industry. The short-term outcome of the patent decision of 1952 was the creation, in 1954, of a new division, the Avery Paper Company. The division produced and sold self-adhesive base materials, often to competing label companies. Eventually this division dominated manufacturing at Avery, eclipsing label sales.

In the 1960s four different branches made up the loosely defined label industry. There were manufacturers of various rubber stamps for paperwork, metal labelers including engravers and stencilers, adhesive label manufacturers, and producers of specialized marking devices. The total volume of this diverse industry was approximately $150 million with annual growth of 3 percent. In the adhesive label category the leading manufacturers were Avery Products Corporation (the name was changed in 1964), 3M, the Simon Adhesive Products and Eureka Specialty Printing divisions of Litton Industries, and the Kleen-Stik products division of National Starch and Chemical Corporation.

Avery had four divisions in the marking or identification aspect of the industry. Fasson, the new name of Avery Paper Company, was a supplier of raw materials. A second division used these raw materials to manufacture Avery labels. Another division, Rote, manufactured hand-embossing machines, and Metal-Cal, acquired in 1964, made anodized and etched aluminum foil for nameplates. Another aspect of Avery's business in the 1960s was machines that embossed vinyl tape. Avery's main product continued to be self-adhesive labels used in a range of products, including automobiles and airplanes.

The 1960s represented a period of much growth for Avery and U.S. industry in general. The period witnessed the rise in mergers and the development of the diversified corporation, culminating in the emergence of the conglomerate.

In 1961 Avery became publicly owned; it was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1967. That year, the company had 2,500 workers and two major components. Label products included the domestic Avery Label division and four wholly owned foreign subsidiaries. The other component was base materials, predominantly Fasson and Fasson Europe. The major buyers of base materials were industrial firms, including the graphic arts trade. In 1968 Avery's share of the industry's $200 million in sales was $63 million. The late 1960s were good years for Avery, as it developed specific units to target specific markets.

In 1974 Avery made the Fortune 500 list for the first time. Avery was last on the list, and its competitor 3M was 50th. The 1970s presented Avery with the first major impediment to growth since World War II. Once again the company faced problems caused by a situation outside its immediate control. The oil crisis of 1975 heavily affected Avery, a company dependent on petrochemicals. Avery faced increased costs, oversupply, and declining demand. The price per share of Avery's stock dropped to $22, from a high of $44 the previous year.

Diversification in the 1980s

By 1980 Avery had reversed its downward slide by diversifying and by controlling costs, prices, and employment levels. The materials units included raw materials, Fasson, and specialty materials, such as Thermark. Thermark produced hot stamping materials for automobiles and appliances. Fasson continued to be the bread-and-butter unit of Avery; its self-adhesives were now being used on disposable diapers. The converting unit had moved into the production of labels for data processing and home and office use. Avery continued to maintain foreign operations, centered in Western Europe and located as well in Canada, Mexico, and Australia.

Seven years later Avery International was the nation's leading producer of self-adhesive materials and labels. The company's revenues were three times greater than ten years previously. In the late 1980s, however, profits flattened. The main reasons were Avery's involvement in the disposable diaper market and its ongoing competition with 3M. Avery first began producing tape for diapers in 1977 and by 1984 was the sole supplier to Kimberly-Clark Corporation, manufacturers of Huggies. 3M did the same for Pampers, which were made by the Procter & Gamble Company. 3M's tape was one piece while Avery's contained a tiny piece of plastic that could fall off and perhaps be swallowed. Kimberly-Clark turned to 3M. In 1986 Avery developed its own one-piece tape in an attempt to win back Kimberly-Clark's business. Avery also attempted to challenge 3M in two other areas--transparent tape and self-sticking notes. Avery later abandoned this effort.

In a thorough restructuring, beginning in 1987, Avery closed some manufacturing facilities, domestic and overseas, and announced plans to cut the number of employees by 8 percent. Avery was, however, succeeding in its attempt to strengthen its share of the diaper tape market.

1990 Merger of Avery and Dennison Capping Decade of Competition

Avery's merger with Dennison was the culmination of 50 years of infrequent negotiations between the two companies. Dennison had made the first overture in 1941, but balked at the $200,000 price demanded by founder Stan Avery. That figure increased considerably in the ensuing five decades. Charles ("Chuck") Miller, who had advanced to Avery's chief executive office in 1977, turned the tables on Dennison, embarking on more than a decade of negotiations. He hoped that Dennison would cap a string of acquisitions in the early 1980s, but the 1987 talks failed once again.

Success came in 1990, when Dennison employees and officers, who controlled more than 20 percent of the company's stock, accepted Avery's $287 million bid. But Miller, who retained the top spots at the merged firm, soon realized that his was a Pyrrhic victory. Dennison lacked proper controls, its overseas operations were losing money, and its domestic businesses were fraught with inefficiencies. To make matters worse, a mild economic recession worsened shortly after the union was completed.

Miller moved quickly to reorganize Dennison while rationalizing it with Avery. He hired a consultancy to evaluate Dennison's subsidiaries and spun off or liquidated about $350 million (sales) unprofitable divisions and product lines by 1995, eliminating about 900 employees in the process. Miller cut another 900 workers outright in the meantime. The adoption of time-based management principles helped the merged companies increase efficiency via inventory reduction and expedited ordering, among other strategies.

Avery Dennison also sharpened its focus on research and development in the early 1990s. By 1996, products developed after the merger contributed one-third of its annual sales. Innovations included the nation's first self-adhesive postage stamp, PowerCheck on-battery tester (created in cooperation with Duracell Inc.), new Band-Aid adhesives, and Translar recyclable label stock. Perhaps more important, the company instituted a customer-oriented new product development process.

The year in which Avery Dennison became a reality, 1990, was not a good one for the new company. Sales increased only 1 percent, from $2.4 billion to $2.6 billion, and net income declined from $114.2 million to a scanty $5.9 million. But as CEO Miller's reorganization began to take effect, Avery Dennison's bottom line improved. By 1995, revenues had increased to more than $3 billion, and profits burgeoned to $143.7 million.

Late 1990s and Beyond: Economic Espionage Lawsuit, Joint Ventures, and Acquisitions

In 1997 Avery Dennison filed a lawsuit against Four Pillars Enterprises Ltd., accusing the Taiwanese firm of fraud and espionage. The lawsuit came after two top executives of Four Pillars were arrested in the United States and charged with economic espionage, money laundering, and mail fraud. The case involved a former Avery Dennison researcher, Victor Lee, who testified during the trial that he had passed on trade secrets to Four Pillars while working as a paid "consultant" for the firm (and while still working for Avery Dennison). Among the secrets involved were chemical formulations for Avery's diaper tape, self-stick postage stamps, and battery labels. In 1999 both the company and the executives were convicted, although the judge in the case threw out 18 of the 21 charges brought against Four Pillars and the executives. In early 2000 Four Pillars was fined $5 million, one of the executives received six months of home confinement and 18 months of probation, and the other was placed on one year of probation. Also in 2000 the jury in Avery Dennison's civil suit awarded the company $40 million in damages. On a broader level, the case was significant because it was the first case tried under the Economic Espionage Act of 1996.

In May 1998 Philip M. Neal was promoted from president and COO to president and CEO. Miller remained chairman, having ended his 21-year stint as chief executive. Under Neal's leadership in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Avery Dennison continued to aggressively seek overseas growth. Early in 1999 the company contributed the bulk of its office product businesses in Europe to a new joint venture with Zweckform Büro-Produkte G.m.b.H., a leading German office products supplier. Avery Dennison held a majority stake in the new company, which was called Avery Dennison Zweckform Office Products Europe G.m.b.H. Another joint venture was formed in Japan with Hitachi Maxell, this one too involving office products. Back home, Avery Dennison paid about $150 million to acquire Stimsonite Corporation, a Niles, Illinois-based maker of reflective safety products for the transportation and highway safety markets (such as reflective coatings on highway signs). Seeking to counter a growth slowdown that began in late 1998 and continued into 1999, Avery Dennison launched a restructuring program early in 1999 involving the closure of eight manufacturing and distribution facilities, the elimination of 1,500 jobs, and a $65 million pretax charge. The goal was to achieve about $60 million in annual cost savings by 2001.

The overseas growth drive continued in 2000. Early that year the company announced that it would spend $40 million to expand its manufacturing operation in China. Avery Dennison was already the largest manufacturer of pressure-sensitive label stock in that country. In Europe the firm acquired the Adespan pressure-sensitive materials operation of Panini S.p.A. of Italy. Adespan, whose products included bar code and beverage labels, had sales of about $75 million in 1999 from its base of customers in Europe, Latin America, and Australia. The Adespan business became part of Avery Dennison's Fasson Roll Europe Division, which was based in the Netherlands. Also in 2000 Miller retired from his position as chairman, although he remained on the company board. Neal became chairman and CEO, while Dean A. Scarborough was named president and COO. Scarborough had previously held the title of group vice-president, Fasson Roll Worldwide.

With the U.S. economy falling into recession in 2001, Avery Dennison saw both its revenues and profits decline. Seeking to reduce costs, the firm announced midyear that it would cut an additional 450 jobs from its workforce. Acquisitions in 2001 included the purchase from Costa Mesa, California-based Stomp Inc. of the CD Stomper line of compact disc and DVD labels as well as the purchase of Dunsirn Industries, Inc. of Neenah, Wisconsin, a maker of nonadhesive label materials. In September 2001 Avery Dennison announced that it would acquire Jackstädt GmbH of Germany for approximately $295 million. The acquisition, which was delayed by a German regulatory review, was finalized in May 2002. With $400 million in 2001 revenues, Jackstädt was the world's largest privately held maker of self-adhesive materials. Following completion of the deal, the headquarters of Avery Dennison's European pressure-sensitive materials operation were relocated to Jackstädt's site in Wuppertal, Germany. Avery Dennison also announced that the merger would result in the elimination of 800 to 1,000 jobs from the combined workforce over a two-year period. The reorganization was expected to cost from $60 million to $70 million.

Principal Subsidiaries: A.V. Chemie AG (Switzerland); ADC Philippines, Inc. (Philippines); ADESPAN S.R.L. (Italy); ADESPAN U.K. Limited; AEAC, Inc.; Avery (China) Company Limited; Avery Automotive Limited (U.K.); Avery Corp.; Avery de Mexico S.A. de C.V.; Avery Dennison (Fiji) Limited; Avery Dennison (Guangzhou) Co. Ltd. (China); Avery Dennison (Guangzhou) Converted Products Limited (China); Avery Dennison (Hong Kong) Limited; Avery Dennison (India) Private Limited; Avery Dennison (Ireland) Limited; Avery Dennison (Kunshan) Limited (China); Avery Dennison (Malaysia) SDN. BHD.; Avery Dennison (Shanghai) International Trading Limited (China); Avery Dennison (Thailand) Ltd.; Avery Dennison Australia Group Holdings Pty Limited; Avery Dennison Belgie B.V. B.A. (Belgium); Avery Dennison C.A. (Venezuela); Avery Dennison Canada Inc.; Avery Dennison Chile S.A.; Avery Dennison Colombia S.A,; Avery Dennison Converted Products de Mexico, S.A. de C.V.; Avery Dennison Coordination Center B.V.B.A. (Belgium); Avery Dennison Danmark Holding ApS (Denmark); Avery Dennison Deutschland G.m.b.H. (Germany); Avery Dennison do Brasil Ltda. (Brazil); Avery Dennison Dover S.A. (Argentina); Avery Dennison Etiket Ticaret Limited Sirketi (Turkey); Avery Dennison Europe Holding (Deutschland) G.m.b.H & Co KG (Germany); Avery Dennison Finance Danmark A.p. S. (Denmark); Avery Dennison Finance France S.A.S.; Avery Dennison Finance Germany G.m.b.H.; Avery Dennison Finance Luxembourg S.A.R.L.; Avery Dennison Foreign Sales Corporation (Barbados); Avery Dennison France S.A.; Avery Dennison Group Danmark A.p.S. (Denmark); Avery Dennison Health Management Corporation; Avery Dennison Holding & Finance The Netherlands B.V.; Avery Dennison Holding AG (Switzerland); Avery Dennison Holding G.m.b.H. (Germany); Avery Dennison Holding Luxembourg S.A.R.L.; Avery Dennison Holdings Limited (Australia); Avery Dennison Hong Kong B.V. (Netherlands); Avery Dennison Hungary Limited; Avery Dennison Iberica, S.A. (Spain); Avery Dennison Investments The Netherlands B.V.; Avery Dennison Italia S.p.A. (Italy); Avery Dennison Korea Limited; Avery Dennison Luxembourg S.A.; Avery Dennison Materials France S.A.R.L.; Avery Dennison Materials G.m.b.H. (Germany); Avery Dennison Materials Ireland Limited; Avery Dennison Materials Nederland B.V. (Netherlands); Avery Dennison Materials Pty Limited (Australia); Avery Dennison Materials U.K. Limited; Avery Dennison Mexico S.A. de C.V.; Avery Dennison Nordic A/S (Denmark); Avery Dennison Norge A/S (Norway); Avery Dennison Office Products (NZ) Limited (New Zealand); Avery Dennison Office Products (PTY.) Ltd. (South Africa); Avery Dennison Office Products Company; Avery Dennison Office Products De Mexico, S.A. de C.V.; Avery Dennison Office Products France S.A.S.; Avery Dennison Office Products Italia S.r.l. (Italy); Avery Dennison Office Products Manufacturing & Trading Limited Liability Company (Avery Dennison Ltd.) (Hungary); Avery Dennison Office Products PTY Limited (Australia); Avery Dennison Office Products U.K. Limited; Avery Dennison Osterreich G.m.b.H. (Austria); Avery Dennison Overseas Corporation; Avery Dennison Pension Trustee Limited (U.K.); Avery Dennison Peru S.A.; Avery Dennison Polska Sp. Z O.O. (Poland); Avery Dennison Scandinavia A/S (Denmark); Avery Dennison Schweiz AG (Switzerland); Avery Dennison Security Printing Europe A/S (Denmark); Avery Dennison Shared Services, Inc.; Avery Dennison Singapore (PTE) Ltd; Avery Dennison South Africa (Proprietary) Limited; Avery Dennison Suomi OY (Finland); Avery Dennison Sverige AB (Sweden); Avery Dennison Systemes d'etiquetage France S.A.S.; Avery Dennison U.K. Limited; Avery Dennison Verwaltungs G.m.b.H. (Germany); Avery Dennison Zweckform Austria G.m.b.H.; Avery Dennison Zweckform Office Products Europe G.m.b.H. (Germany); Avery Dennison Zweckform Unterstutzungskasse G.m.b.H. (Germany); Avery Dennison, S.A. de C.V. (Mexico); Avery Dennison-Maxell K.K. (Japan); Avery Etiketsystemer A/S (Denmark); Avery Etiketten B.V. (Netherlands); Avery Etikettsystem Svenska AB (Sweden); Avery Graphic Systems, Inc.; Avery Guidex Limited (U.K.); Avery Holding B.V. (Netherlands); Avery Holding Limited (U.K.); Avery Holding S.A. (France); Avery Maschinen G.m.b.H. (Germany); Avery Pacific Corporation; Avery Properties PTY. Limited (Australia); Avery Research Center, Inc.; Avery, Inc.; BOA/IWACO Offset A/S (Denmark); Dennison Comercio, Importacas E Exportacao Ltda. (Brazil); Dennison Development Associates; Dennison International Company; Dennison International Holding B.V. (Netherlands); Dennison Ireland Limited; Dennison Manufacturing (Trading) Ltd. (Channel Islands); Dennison Manufacturing Company; Dennison Office Products Limited (Ireland); DMC Development Corporation; Dunsirn Industries, Inc.; Etikettrykkeriet A/S (Denmark); Fasson Canada Inc.; Fasson Portugal Produtos Auto-Adesivos LDA. (Portugal); IWACO A/S (Denmark); IWACO Labels & Labelling Systems OY (Finland); Iwaco Norge AS (Norway); LAC Retail Systems Limited (U.K.); Monarch Industries, Inc.; Ocawi Sverige AB (Sweden); PT Avery Dennison Indonesia; Retail Products Limited (Ireland); Security Printing Division, Inc.; Spartan International, Inc.; Spartan Plastics Canada, Ltd; Steinbeis Office Products Beteiligungs G.m.b.H. (Germany); Stimsonite Australia PTY Limited; Stimsonite Corporation; Stimsonite do Brasil Ltda (Brazil); Stimsonite Europa Limited (U.K.); Stimsonite International, Inc.; Tiadeco Participacoes, Ltda. (Brazil); Zweckform U.K. Ltd.

Principal Divisions: Converting Americas; Converting Asia; Fasson Roll Europe; Fasson Roll North America; Graphics Europe; InfoChain Express; Materials Asia Pacific; Materials South America; Office Products Europe; Office Products North America; Retail Information Services; Reflective Products Division; Specialty Tape Division Europe; Specialty Tape Division U.S.; Worldwide Specialty Tapes.

Principal Competitors: 3M Company; Bemis Company, Inc.; Wallace Computer Services, Inc.; Fortune Brands, Inc.; Moore Corporation Limited; Brady Corporation.


  • Key Dates:
  • 1844: Aaron Dennison and his father, Andrew Dennison, begin manufacturing paper jewelry boxes in Brunswick, Maine.
  • 1863: The business is now a partnership, Dennison and Company, between Eliphalet Whorf (E. W.) Dennison, younger brother of Aaron, and three nonfamily members; in addition to boxes, the firm has begun making jewelry tags, display cards, and shipping tags at a factory in Boston.
  • 1878: Company is incorporated as Dennison Manufacturing Company.
  • 1898: Dennison's manufacturing operations are centralized in Framingham, Massachusetts.
  • 1917: Henry Sturgis Dennison, grandson of E.W. Dennison, begins 35-year stint as company president.
  • 1935: R. Stanton Avery forms Los Angeles-based Kum-Kleen Adhesive Products Co. to produce self-adhesive labels.
  • 1938: Kum-Kleen is renamed Avery Adhesives.
  • 1941: Avery begins supplying labels to Dennison, which the latter sells under the brand name Pres-a-ply.
  • 1946: Avery Adhesives incorporates as the Avery Adhesive Label Corporation.
  • 1952: Henry S. Dennison dies, ending more than 100 years of Dennison family leadership of Dennison Manufacturing.
  • 1954: Avery creates a division called Avery Paper Company (later called Fasson), which specializes in producing and selling self-adhesive base materials, often to competing label makers.
  • 1961: Avery goes public.
  • 1964: Avery Adhesive is renamed Avery Products Corporation.
  • 1990: Avery International and Dennison Manufacturing merge to form Avery Dennison Corporation.
  • 1999: European office products joint venture is created with Zweckform Büro-Produkte G.m.b.H.
  • 2002: Jackstädt GmbH, privately held maker of self-adhesive materials based in Germany, is acquired.

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Company HistoryPaper & Paper Products

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