CLEVELAND, Aug. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Mace Security International, known primarily for its pepper spray and other personal defense products, has announced that it has completed a multimillion dollar financing led by The Ancora Group in Cleveland, Ohio. After the financing, Ancora and its investment partnership, Merlin Partners LLC will have achieved an approximate 35% ownership in Mace.
At the same time Cleveland businessman, Richard Barone, Chairman of The Ancora Group, has been elected Chairman of Mace. Other Clevelanders elected to the board include Denis Amato, Chief Investment Officer at Ancora and Larry Pollock, Managing Partner of Lucky Star Partners and former President of Cole National.
In 2009, Mr. Barone was elected to the Mace board to help resolve a variety of problems that the company was facing. Mace's problems arose when it leveraged its balance sheet through the purchase of unrelated businesses such as car washes and an internet marketing company. At the same time, Mace became embroiled in an EPA matter at its pepper spray division in Vermont. The company was also accused of employing illegal aliens at its car washes. In addition, Mace lost a substantial sum in a Ponzi scheme in Florida.
According to Mr. Barone, "During the past two years we have resolved all of these issues. We are no longer in the car wash or internet business. We have settled all matters which could affect our balance sheet. Our two remaining divisions, wholesale remote monitoring of homes and warehouses and pepper spray security products, are doing well. The recently completed financing provides Mace with the financial strength to grow its personal defense product lines."Mace intends to build its reputation and brand as a personal security company with the introduction of new products and services. The recent bear attack on a group of teens in Alaska might have been averted if the victims had been able to use Mace® bear spray at the time of the attack. After the attack, the injured waited nine hours for help to arrive. Mace is also expecting to introduce a GPS product which, when activated, will send a signal to its monitoring division in Anaheim, California. Local authorities would then be immediately notified of a victim's location. Mace is publicly traded under the symbol MACE.
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