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Wednesday, 12 February 2014 21:11

Lighthouse for the Blind-Saint Louis Acquires California-Based Supplier of Emergency Preparedness Kits

Purchase of Assets from Quake Kare, Inc. Expected to Boost Lighthouse Revenues, Employment & Social Services

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Lighthouse for the Blind-Saint Louis (LHB), a not-for-profit manufacturing and packaging organization with a dedicated social service mission (http://www.lhbindustries.com), has acquired all assets of Quake Kare, Inc. (www.quakekare.com), a leading supplier of emergency preparedness kits, emergency supplies and survival kits for customers that include Google,Chevron, Verizon, Pfizer, Intel, Time Warner Cable, U.S. Department of the Treasury, American Express-Japan and more.

The deal that closed February 4, 2014, is expected to increase Lighthouse revenues and employment at its two manufacturing and shipping plants in St. Louis County by expanding operations, providing more employment for people who are blind or legally blind and increasing income to support outreach programs for visually impaired people in Missouri and southwestern Illinois.

Terms of the acquisition of privately-owned Quake Kare, Inc. are not disclosed.

John Thompson, president of Lighthouse for the Blind-Saint Louis, also known as LHB Industries., Inc., said, “Acquisition and integration of Quake Kare assetsis a natural expansion of LHB manufacturing operations because kit assembly is one of our core competencies. It provides LHB with a full line of branded kit products giving us entry to emergency preparedness markets and gives LHB more exposure in commercial retail markets in addition to our current business in government and military sales.”

“Quake Kare manufacturing operations in Moorpark, California, near Los Angeles will be closed and all assembly, purchasing, shipping and customer service activities will be absorbed by our operations in Overland in St. Louis County,” Thompson said.

“In addition to corporate and organizational emergency preparedness markets we will market to special interest groups such as for survivalists, outdoorsmen, adventure seekers and travelers,” Thompson said.

Quake Kare, Inc. was founded in 1994 by Chairman and CEO Sherry Heitz as a source of ER Emergency Ready disaster preparedness, survival kits for virtually any type of crisis situation that individuals, families, corporations, schools and organizations may encounter, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, floods, terrorist attacks, accidents, etc. Quake Kare’s product line includes ER Emergency Ready Kits specifically designed for cars, homes, offices, schools, shelters, travel and outdoor situations. Sherry is proud to bring Quake Kare to her hometown where she grew up, and will be a consultant for the Quake Kare brand for LHB.

“Quake Kare has served thousands of international, federal and state agencies, school districts and other customers including Fortune 500 companies and non-profit groups and has partnered with organizations worldwide to minimize the impact of disasters,” said Thompson.

“LHB is dedicated to Quake Kare’s principle of providing top quality, comprehensive emergency kits and supplies for all disasters and locations at competitive prices to make families, companies, schools and communities safer,” Thompson asserted. “Quake Kare has offered quality products at affordable prices for decades. LHB will proudly continue that tradition of industry leadership and build on the decades of equity inherent in the Quake Kare name.”

LHB’s 2013 sales revenues were approximately $20 million. Thompson said he hopes the acquisition will add $2 to $3 million to LHB’s revenue in 2014, with annual increases thereafter. LHB currently employs 80 people, most of who are legally blind, and will hire at least two new legally blind employees in 2014 as a result of this acquisition, Thompson said.

LHB is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that helps children and adults who are visually impaired maintain dignity and independence by offering employment, education and many support services. Founded in 1933, LHB and its employees manufacture, assemble, warehouse and sell high-quality products to government and business customers nationwide including first aid kits, medical kits, catheters, aerosol and liquid paints, aerosol and liquid cleaning products, eco-friendly products and many others.

All sales revenues directly support Lighthouse programs including Professional Career Development; Special Technology and Adaptive Resources for Students (STARS); Summer Jobs for Students; Continuing Education; Arts & Entertainment Accessibility; Low Vision Aid; and others available for individuals who are legally blind and visually impaired in Missouri and Southwestern Illinois.

Contact Brittney Smithers, Marketing Manager, at 800.542.3697 or314.423.4333. Website http://www.lhbindustries.com.  Media contact: Jeff Dunlap 314.409.5203.