Mike Noell President and CEO of BlackHawk® Products Group™ proudly announced today the acquisition of Masters of Defense Knife Company

For Immediate Release - December 1, 2003

Mike Noell President and CEO of BlackHawk Products Group proudly announced today the acquisition of Masters of Defense Knife Company. “MOD has been recognized by the professional community for their innovative designs, finest materials, extremely close tolerances and overall superior quality”, stated Noell. “Jim Ray, founder of MOD knives, has twice been honored by the knife industry for his contribution to the tactical community. In 2000 the Mark I CQD was awarded the American Knife of the Year. The following year his Mark V won Blade Magazine’s overall Knife of the Year. These two awards were particularly significant as they were awarded by other knife manufacturers,” explained Noell.

“Having MOD become part of BlackHawk® Products Group™ is a great fit,” stated Ray. “BPG has a global penetration into Military, Law Enforcement, EMT and Fire Departments. These are the same users that depend on the MOD tools and, like BlackHawk, we have always tried to listen to our customers and incorporate their input as we continue to introduce innovative designs that reflect the needs of the professionals who actually use them.” explained Ray.

“Jim Ray will continue to manage the MOD brand at BlackHawk® Products Group™. This acquisition will allow Jim to focus on the future of the MOD product line by collaborating on new designs with some of the best people in the industry and raising the awareness level of customers on what tools are available and how they should be used. Jim will also work with the BPG dealer organization to better serve their customers while maintaining quality,” stated Noell. “I originally formed BlackHawk® Products Group™ to attract ‘best of class’ companies like MOD, give them the infrastructure support they need to successfully grow and provide a business environment that stays focused on the mission: meeting the needs of our customers. An added bonus is that Jim Ray is a good friend and his product is absolutely first rate. We’re thrilled to have him aboard,” concluded Noell.


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About BlackHawk® Products Group™
(formerly known as BlackHawk Industries, Inc.)

BlackHawk® Industries was founded in 1993 by President and CEO Mike Noell. BlackHawk® Industries is recognized as the world leader in suppling tactical equipment to the military and law enforcement markets. Having been trained as a Navy SEAL, Mike built a company dedicated to designing equipment for the preservation of life under the worst extremes. The mission at BlackHawk® is very clear:

“To design, manufacture and globally distribute the World’s Finest Gear to our Military and Law Enforcement Professionals. To enhance operator efficiency, confidence, and mission completion. To rule our industry with unparalleled DEDICATION to EXCELLENCE through TEAMWORK, PERFORMANCE and SERVICE.
To be the BEST- to WIN.”

Mike Noell knows first-hand what it means to lead, to be first, and the importance of being able to rely on the right equipment to accomplish the mission. Mike joined the U.S. Navy in 1987 and graduated boot camp as RCPO (Honor Man). He graduated from Quartermaster “A” School as Class Honor Man and graduated UDT/SEAL BUD/S class 156 as Honor Man and was the “Fire in the GUT” award winner. Mike is the first man in the history of SEAL training to receive both honors. He was later assigned to SEAL Team Eight where he deployed to Liberia, Africa and later deployed to Iraq. Mike volunteered and was assigned to Naval Special Warfare DEV-GRU. The same year Mike started BlackHawk® Industries,1993, he was the top qualifier for NSWDG CTC International Shooting Competition Team.

BlackHawk Industries, Inc.
4850 Brookside Court
Norfolk, VA 23502 U.S.A.
1-800-694-5263 Phone
(757) 436-3088 Fax

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