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In The News:

Jackson Products Acquires Olympic Optical


Jackson Products, Inc., St. Louis, MO, a privately held manufacturer and distributor of personal and highway safety products, has acquired the assets of Olympic Optical, a national distributor of safety eyewear and hearing protection. The acquisition will include an assignment of the license held by Olympic Optical to use the Smith & Wesson® brand on certain safety items. Based in Memphis, Tennessee, the acquired business uses a network of industrial distributors and sporting goods retailers and had revenues of $12 million for the year ended Dec. 31, 2004.


"Winston Wolfe, the founder of Olympic Optical, has done an extraordinary job in building an outstanding team of people and an efficient business model," stated David Gilchrist, Jackson Products' President and Chief Executive Officer. "Olympic, through its Smith & Wesson brand, has a great reputation for delivering safety eyewear of the highest quality in both style and comfort. Olympic's Smith & Wesson eyewear is a great extension of our existing safety spectacle product line."


Mr. Gilchrist continued, "Both Jackson and Olympic are passionate about our customers and providing excellent service. The Smith & Wesson brand is a great fit strategically because growth opportunities exist for both Jackson's personal safety business and Smith & Wesson eyewear. We are equally excited about the opportunities to significantly increase our eyewear market share by utilizing the Smith & Wesson brand in Jackson's broad distribution channels and to leverage Smith & Wesson's brand recognition with our other high quality Jackson personal safety products."


To finance the acquisition and to provide for Jackson's ongoing working capital needs, Jackson also completed a new $100 million senior debt facility.


Jackson Products designs, manufactures and distributes safety products and serves a variety of niche applications within the personal and highway safety markets, principally throughout North America and in Europe. The Company's products include welding helmets, auto-darkening welding filter lenses, hardhats, face shields, safety goggles, spectacles, hearing protection, highway safety cones, barricades, pavement tape, flags, safety vests, high- intensity lights, traffic coatings, specialized coatings applications equipment and reflective glass beads. Jackson Products markets its products under established, well-known brand names to an extensive network of distributors, wholesalers, contractors and government agencies.


In 2004, Jackson Products had revenues of $186 million.

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