VIKING Life-Saving Equipment A/S has announced the acquisition of Colorado-based turnout gear manufacturer Quest Enterprises, Inc.
COPENHAGEN, 8 January 2010. Leading marine safety equipment and servicing provider VIKING Life-Saving Equipment A/S has again invested in the North American market with the acquisition of turnout gear manufacturer Quest Enterprises, Inc., of Walsenburg, Colorado.
The move will see the Quest Enterprises and VIKING brands enter a new state of co-existence, each with its complementary strengths. Quest Enterprises will receive additional investment and its Walsenburg plant will become VIKING’s future base for US approved protective clothing for industrial fire-fighting. VIKING will continue to support the maritime and offshore industries from its existing US base in Miami, Florida.
The Quest Enterprises management team will be headed by VIKING’s Global Sales and Marketing Director Henrik Uhd Christensen. He is joined by new factory manager Hanne Dyrborg Lindstrøm and Soren Hansen as Director of Sales, US Fire Suits. Hansen comes from a position as VIKING’s sales manager for defense and fire at the company’s headquarters in Denmark. Quest Enterprises’ founder Jerry Fitzgerald will continue to work as a consultant and remains part of the management team.
Henrik Uhd Christensen believes the acquisition will strengthen the capabilities of both companies. “Over the years, Quest has achieved a well-established position and deep local knowledge. VIKING’s involvement gives Quest access to the global muscle and resources needed to invest and develop the market even further. And it can combine local presence with all the advantages of being a global supplier. At the same time, we expect that having a manufacturing plant in the States will enable VIKING to further extend the success of its safety products abroad to the US military,” he said.
He also foresees strong benefits for the US based customers of both companies, stating, “With the acquisition of Quest, we can move even closer to our customers – a strategically important principle for VIKING. We can shorten delivery times and combine the product portfolios of the two companies. For example, Quest’s customers will benefit from the introduction of European innovations such as VIKING’s Titan Superlite™ garments to the Quest product line-up.”
Quest Enterprises founder Jerry Fitzgerald considers Quest and VIKING to be a perfect match. “The acquisition brings two highly complementary niche brands together. Both use only quality fabrics and both are known for the overall quality of their products. While Quest builds on an American design tradition, VIKING’s European-inspired design uses new materials in creative ways. Bringing it all together makes perfect sense and ensures an even brighter future for fire safety,” he said.
A global leader in the safety industry, VIKING already leads the protective fire clothing market in several northern European countries and has a solid presence in Asia. More recently, the company has achieved a series of orders with large fire departments in the South American market.