Acme United Expands First Aid Business With Lucrative Acquisition

Acme United (US: ACU – $33.34) has done it again! The Company acquired Safety Made, a relatively small, easy to integrate first aid business, which will immediately be accretive to Acme’s bottom line. Moreover, Acme has already gone to work to expand the new subsidiary’s sales within its existing first aid network, but also beyond.

Safety Made was founded eight years ago, and has since become a well-known manufacturer of first aid kits, as well as the exclusive source for Dorcy, Life Gear and DieHard flashlights, in the promotional products industry. Basically, Safety Made sources a wide variety of products, assembles them and then screen-prints a company’s name or logo on the products. Companies use promotional products, like safety kits, to build brand awareness, make clients aware of a rebranding, hand out at an event or conference, or simply launch a marketing campaign.

One of the numerous first aid kits produced by Safety Made as a promotional item.

Although the purchase price was not disclosed, Acme did mention that Safety Made had revenues in 2021 of approximately $4.9 million and EBITDA of approximately $1.2 million. The acquisition is expected to be accretive immediately. The company is located in Keene, New Hampshire and employs 24 people. Acme also purchased the Safety Made plant. It’s also good to know that the founders and management of Safety Made will remain on board.

Growth Opportunities

Walter C. Johnsen, Chairman and CEO of Acme United, commented, “We believe the acquisition of Safety Made provides a platform to expand sales of personalized products to many of Acme United’s domestic and global customers. Although its primary business today is in first aid, we see opportunities in all our product ranges.

And that is exactly what makes this acquisition so attractive. First, Safety Made will be able to achieve immediate cost savings thanks to Acme’s sourcing power directly from China and Egypt for first aid items. Up until now, Safety Made didn’t have that option. In addition, Acme’s salespeople will contact their existing customer base to explain and promote the possibilities of the new subsidiary. Moreover, in a next phase, other Acme products, such as Westcott scissors, DMT sharpeners, or Camillus knives can be screen-printed and sold as promotional items.

Another very important reason for the acquisition is the fact that Safety Made has the number one online keyword position for many promotional first aid items. Acme can now further build upon Safety Made’s knowledge in this area for its other product categories.

Acme Increases Bank Facility

In other news, Acme announced that it renewed and increased its loan facility with HSBC Bank.

The new agreement provides for borrowings up to $65 million, which is a an increase of $15 million compared with the previous loan facility, at an interest rate of SOFR* plus 1.75% and expires on May 31, 2026. The terms of the credit facility (including the effective interest rate) otherwise are materially unchanged. The facility is intended to provide liquidity for growth, share repurchases, dividends, acquisitions, and other business activities.

* The Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) is a benchmark interest rate for dollar-denominated derivatives and loans that is replacing the London interbank offered rate (LIBOR).

As of March 31, 2022, the Company had outstanding borrowings of $40.2 million under its revolving loan agreement with HSBC.


With the acquisition of Safety Made, Acme has again expanded its domestic manufacturing portfolio. In 2011, Acme acquired Pac-Kit Safety Equipment Company in Norwalk, Connecticut. In 2014, it purchased First Aid Only in Vancouver, Washington. In 2016, the Company bought Diamond Machining Technology (DMT), which is located in Marlborough, Massachusetts. Early 2017, Spill Magic was acquired, which has facilities in Santa Ana, California and Smyrna, TN. In 2020, it bought both First Aid Central, a Canadian manufacturer of first aid kits and safety supplies and Med-Nap, a Brooksville, Florida based manufacturer of alcohol prep pads, and other first aid products. This way, the Company strategically diversifies its portfolio of sourcing, while reducing its reliance on China.

The integration of Safety Made into the Acme United organization has already commenced. New computers and servers were installed at the Safety Made facility this week and calls were made to all customers of Safety Made to update them about the new situation. Soon, Safety Made will be able to buy products cheaper than it used to, which will benefit its margins, and will it be able to offer its products to Acme’s existing customer base. Smallcaps Recommendation: BUY. Advice: BuyPrice Target: $59.86Latest Company Report (pdf)
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