1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post MSA Acquisition of CairnsHelmets

    MSA Agrees to Acquire CairnsHelmets

    Acquisition Makes MSA Leading Provider of Protective Helmets to the Fire Service

    PITTSBURGH, July 12, 2000 - Mine Safety Appliances Company (MSA) today announced it has signed an agreement to acquire CairnsHelmets of Clifton, N. J. from
    Cairns & Brother, Inc., the leading U.S. manufacturer of protective helmets for the fire service. The transaction is expected to be finalized in August. With the acquisition, MSA will significantly strengthen its presence in the fire service market by adding fire helmets to an already strong product line, which includes self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), thermal imaging cameras and portable gas detection instruments.

    CairnsHelmets will continue to operate from its New Jersey headquarters and will be part of MSA's Safety Products Division. Brown Brothers Harriman, the investment banking firm who advised CairnsHelmets, did not disclose terms of the transaction.

    "We're excited about this acquisition. The fire service is our largest market and has been a priority of ours for many years. We're fired up about our prospects there," said John T. Ryan III, MSA chairman and chief executive officer. "This acquisition will enable us to expand our customer base, offer firefighters an even wider range of products and enhance our market strengths. CairnsHelmets and MSA are both well-known and long-respected names in the fire service industry, and will make an excellent combination," he said.

    Cairns & Brother, Inc., founded in 1836, has dominated the fire service helmet market for decades. The company currently has the majority share of the North American market, which is estimated to be approximately $22 million.

    "I've been in the fire helmet business essentially my entire life," said Bill McCutcheon, owner of Cairns & Brother, Inc. "For 164 years our company has always stood for high quality, and MSA is known for delivering exceptional safety products to the fire service. Our two companies, with histories of leadership, achievement and innovation, are now joining together with new strength, new potential and no equal in the fire service safety market, for the century to come."

    According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 1.1 million firefighters in the U.S. wear fire helmets. "When you see firefighters on the job, chances are they're wearing a CairnsHelmetsä fire helmet," said Bill Lambert, vice president and general manager of MSA's Safety Products Division. "The same can be said about MSA Air Masks. For our sales organization, having the ability to sell two market-leading brands is very exciting. Our prospects for growing MSA's fire service business in the U.S. and Canada are even greater now."

    Mr. Lambert added the acquisition will give MSA new means to expand its helmet business beyond North America. "Our 29 international affiliates and their ability to provide safety equipment expertise to customers throughout the world is one of MSA's greatest strengths," he said. "When you combine this global resource with the CairnsHelmets product knowledge, technology and manufacturing expertise, the acquisition is a perfect fit that creates broad benefits for our shareholders, customers and employees."

    Established in 1914, MSA is the world's leading provider of quality products and services that protect people's health and safety and the environment. The company has annual sales of about $500 million, manufacturing operations throughout the United States and 29 international affiliates.

  2. #2
    Truckie from Missouri
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs down

    First off, I didn't know that companies were allowed to advertise for free in these forums. The Firehouse.com police would be unhappy that they miss out on advertising dollars.

    Second, DON'T MESS WITH A GREAT PRODUCT! I don't want to see generations of tradition get ruined because somebody thinks it will be better (read--save money at the cost of quality, workers' jobs, etc).

    Proud Member of IAFF Local 3133!

    Stay safe.


    All postings I have &/or will post are strictly my opinions. I am representing only myself here, not the IAFF, Local 3133, or my employer. No animals were/will be harmed from the production of this disclaimer. Thank you.

  3. #3
    Jeff Daigle
    Firehouse.com Guest


    What ever ya'll do,don't mess with the leather. Could make alot of firefighter's unhappy.

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Same thing here. Except get rid of the impact cap makes the helmet big and heavy. And make the ears flaps replaceable.

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    The impact cap is what's going to save your melon some day dude.


  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    I know NFPA requires the impact cap and such, but just to prove the superiority of leather over plastic...
    My Dad (wearing a pre NFPA Cairns Leather) was walking out the front door, when a truckie on the roof dropped a pick head axe from the roof of a three story appartment building. Hit dad square on the head, blade first. Sprained his neck. Thats all, left a small dent in the helmet. I got rid of my plastic brain bucket the next day and have been wearing leather since.

    I remember reading in firehouse once a battalion chief in Houston got shot in the head with a .54 Cal black powder rifle that was in a garage on fire. The bullet got stuck halfway in his Sam Houston, but don't know if it was a post NFPA (impact cap) model or not.

  7. #7
    37 Fire/Rescue
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I second the motion about making the ear flaps replaceable, or at least removable. Mine really stink. While we're on the subject, any leather users have any suggestions on how to wash the ear flaps since you can't take them out?

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