Upland, CA, February 28, 2007 -- Champion Rescue Tools, the leader in patented hydraulic rescue tools, announced today that they are closing a new round of funding and have recruited a new senior management team to support the growth of their business. Although Champion is one of the newer faces in the fire rescue tool market, they have been around for nearly 2 decades building world class hydraulic tools across a variety of industries. With the recent introduction of their new BEAST multi-tool, the Company has aggressively jumped into the fire rescue and first responder industry as a real player. With that new endeavor came the need to build out the team and infrastructure to support their rapid growth.
"I couldn't be happier to see Champion evolve to the next level", said Tom Patton, founder of Champion Rescue Tools. "Even though we knew our tools were the best, due to a lack of resources, we have always been a lower tier player, picking up the scraps from the big guys. With this new round of funding coupled with our new leadership, we are ready to give the big guys a run for their money. And more importantly, get more of our tools in the market and save more lives."
As Tom drops back into a Chief Engineer role, the Company will be lead by veteran executive, Alan Discount. "Alan's background as a CEO-level manager over the last 2 decades, with a strong focus on capitalization, driving rapid growth companies, and realizing a strong ROI for investors through mergers and acquisitions and/or follow on offerings, is a strong fit for Champion. Over the last 10 years, he has raised tens of millions of dollars in financing and driven hundreds of millions of dollars in value through delivering both operational and M and A results. We are truly excited to have him on our team."
Prior to joining Champion, Mr. Discount has driven numerous successes as a Senior Leader:
- Owner and Founder of Cycles U.S., a market leader in the custom (chopper, cruiser and lowrider) bicycle industry, including securing a network of over 300 dealers and a contract to sell their products through Costco Wholesale in their first year of business.
- Grew Personnel Concepts, a direct mail Company, to a market leader (35-50% growth per annum) and sold a majority interest to a mid market private capital investment firm within three years, in which the owner went from holding an "on paper" valuation of $10 million to ultimately realizing over $50 million in cash proceeds.
- Managed portfolio companies for Heritage Partners, a billion dollar private quity firm that focused on providing investment capital and executive leadership for family owned businesses poised for rapid growth, across a variety of industries.
- Served as CEO and Director for Vallon, Inc., a national web solutions provider targeting the small business marketplace with low cost, high performance, technology products and services. Alan was the visionary and architect of the Company's revolutionary workflow automation process patent, which allowed Vallon to build complex, high quality websites using non-technical, entry level personnel. Under his leadership, Vallon became the nation's highest volume producer of full-service web sites sold through major resellers such as IBM, Lucent, Kinkos and others. IBM marketed Vallon's as the brand 'IBM e-business solutions', and ultimately acquired the assets of the business.
- Served in a variety of senior management positions for Deluxe Corporation, a $2 billion industry-leading, mass customized check and form products supplier, including growing a $250 million division in excess of 20% per year. He also led a corporate wide portfolio analysis for the Board of Directors, in which numerous key strategic acquisitions, divestitures and internal restructuring efforts were undertaken to refocus their core business. The project got praise from industry analysts and resulted in an excellent boost in Deluxe's stock price.
- Managed the commercial products division of Williamhouse-Regency, the world's second-largest paper converter and outsource supplier to the print industry for wedding invitations, greeting cards and business stationery and forms products. Grew sales through major retail channels 300% in his first year.
Mr. Discount has also been quoted as an expert and interviewed in numerous national media outlets, including Fortune magazine, on CNN, Investor's Business Daily, Microsoft's website and Business 2.0.
"I am extremely excited to join Tom and the family at Champion Rescue Tools", said Discount. "I can honestly say that of all of the rapid growth companies I have been affiliated with, Champion has the best products and opportunity to quickly grab significant market share, of all of them. Their products are extremely superior to their competitor's, their pricing is very competitive, and what better value proposition could you ask for than producing a product that can save lives?" Discount continued, "It is also quite reaffirming that the financial markets have endorsed Champion's position as we close the Company's first round of outside investment capital." The Company would not disclose the amount and source of funding they have raised, but Discount commented that the proceeds would primarily be used for aggressively driving sales and marketing efforts.
Champion Rescue Tools, originally founded as Patton Hydraulics, Inc. in 1978, has built high quality cutters, spreaders, and numerous other specialty hydraulic tools for a variety of specialized applications and industries including numerous high profile customers such as Sandia National Laboratories, Saturn, GM, Ford, Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Honda, Chrysler, Princeton University, Westinghouse, Savannah River, etc. Their most recent line of cutters, spreaders, rams, power units, pumps, valves and accessories built especially for the fire rescue market, can be seen on their website at www.championrescuetools.com. For sales literature, a DVD of their products in use, or to set up a live demo, contact Champion toll free at 1-888-396-2426.