By Rob Freese, Sr. Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Globe Manufacturing Company, now part of MSA

It’s been all over Wall Street and Main Street, within the fire service and outside, and all around the world that Globe’s fourth generation owners have sold the business to MSA Safety Incorporated. It’s true. Globe protective clothing manufacturing, boot manufacturing, and cleaning and repair businesses are now part of MSA.

What brought us together?

If you know me, you’ve probably heard me say in the past that Globe is more than a business. It is a calling. If so, maybe you were a little surprised to find out that this family business now has new owners – a publicly traded company, not a fifth generation of the Freese family.

So let me tell you a little about how we came to join forces with the world’s leader in safety. Several years ago − when really solidifying plans for the future of our great organization − we found ourselves without fifth generation family members in the wings ready to lead the business into the future. So we engaged in a multi-year process to identify potential new ownership that would be good stewards of what my family has created over four generations and 130 years.

I can tell you that it wasn’t about auctioning off the business to the highest bidder. It was, in fact, about finding a home that reflected our core values. A home that would ensure a bright future for the business, our employees, our communities, our dealers, and most importantly for the firefighters and first responders who rely on our gear each and every day to help keep them safe.

Globe as part of the MSA family is a great fit. We make turnout gear and boots. They make SCBA, thermal imaging cameras, helmets, and gas detection equipment. There is no product overlap between our businesses and, in fact, our products complement each other exceedingly well.

But more importantly, we share common values that start with integrity, customer focus, and innovation.

What does this mean for the future?

MSA spent over $45 million dollars last year in Research & Development. MSA has the financial, technical, and people resources to drive innovation for the fire service. That’s what’s behind this acquisition – continuing to advance innovations in firefighter safety.

Now that Globe is part of MSA, we can pursue systems level design opportunities to provide better protection for firefighters against today’s increased threats while delivering a better user experience. And, in fact, we’ve already started on what we’re calling “PPE Integration through Innovation.”

I am personally very excited about the future and the opportunities that this new ownership brings, especially to firefighters and first responders. And although I am no longer an owner, innovation in firefighter protection and safety is very important to me personally. So I plan to stick around and continue to play an active role in serving firefighters through my work at Globe. Now under this new ownership, we will continue to be Globe, only better.