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Lighthouse for the Blind-Saint Louis Acquires Illinois-Based Supplier of Adhesives and Sealants

  • Publish Date : 2015/06/09
  • Author : Lighthouse for the Blind-Saint Louis
  • Contact : www.lhbindustries.com/Home.aspx


Lighthouse for the Blind-Saint Louis acquires Val-A Chicago, Inc., owner and producer of the Tear Mender brand of adhesives and sealants.

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Lighthouse for the Blind-Saint Louis (LHB), a not-for-profit manufacturing and packaging organization with a dedicated social service mission (www.lhbindustries.com), has acquired all assets of Val-A Chicago, Inc., owner and producer of the Tear Mender® brand of adhesives and sealants (https://www.tearmender.com).

Val-A Chicago, Inc., founded in 1932 with headquarters in Elmhurst, Illinois, is one of the nation's best-known producers of non-toxic, all-natural adhesive and sealants for repairing clothing, synthetic fabrics, footwear, gloves, upholstery, vinyl and other items used indoors and outdoors. Tear Mender products are sold by retailers including Ace Hardware, True Value Hardware, Rural King and Duluth Trading and Wal-Mart, as well as Home Shopping Network (HSN) and Amazon.com.

The deal that closed June 5, 2015, 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 Val-A Chicago, Inc. and its Tear Mender brands are not disclosed.

John Thompson, president of Lighthouse for the Blind-Saint Louis, also known as LHB Industries., Inc., said, "Our acquisition of Val-A Chicago, Inc.'s Tear Mender products provides LHB with a full line of adhesive and sealant products that are well known and popular with consumers. This acquisition gives LHB more exposure in commercial retail markets in addition to our current business in government and military sales along with sales of our Quake Kare emergency survival kits for families, individuals and businesses.

Thompson added, "LHB has been looking for another acquisition since we acquired Quake Kare in February 2014.Val-A Chicago, Inc. and its Tear Mender brands are a good fit for our organization."

On February 4, 2014, LHB acquired all assets of Quake Kare, Inc., which was based near Los Angeles in Moorpark, California, and moved all operations to LHB plants in suburban St. Louis. Quake Kare provides custom-packed and pre-packed disaster preparedness and emergency 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 and accidents. Quake Kare's product line includes ER Emergency Ready Kits specifically designed for cars, homes, offices, schools, shelters, travel and outdoor situations.

LHB will move Val-A Chicago, Inc. and its Tear Mender operations to St. Louis. As with Quake Kare revenues, all revenue from Tear Mender product sales will support Lighthouse for the Blind-Saint Louis service programs.

Brian Houser, LHB director of sales and marketing, said, "Tear Mender products are ideally suited for durable, long lasting and permanent bonds or repairs to many types of items used both indoors and out. Tear Mender products are water-proof, flexible, permanent, quick-drying, UV resistant, eco-friendly, non-toxic and acid-free. The strongest repairs utilize a patch applied to the underside of the damaged garment or item. We are excited about this new acquisition to enhance our organization."

Val "The Bish" Cismoski developed the original formula for Tear Mender in the1930s. His nickname was a result of his imposing physical presence and his knack for having an answer to any questions, which family members said reminded them of a bishop.

Val-A Chicago, Inc. trademarks, now owned by LHB, are in place for:

  • Tear Mender, an adhesive cement for repairing leather, canvas, fabric and acrylic fibers and clothing
  • TOUCHNBOND, a rubber-based adhesive cement suitable for fingertip applications for use in hemming, patching and mending rips and tears;
  • Trust "The Bish," an adhesive cement for repairing leather, canvas, fabric and acrylic fibers and clothing.

Founded in 1933, LHB is a non-profit 501(c)3 enterprise that helps children and adults who are visually impaired maintain dignity and independence by offering employment, education and support services. LHB employees assemble, warehouse and sell high-quality products including first aid kits, medical kits, catheters, aerosol and liquid paints, aerosol and liquid cleaning products, eco-friendly products and many others, including Quake Kare products and, starting within a few weeks, Tear Mender products.

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.

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