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Hurricane Line Merges With Belpromo
Volume 671
December 22, 2009

Effective January 1, the Hurricane Line/La Belle Time Inc. (asi/66010) will fully merge its operations, staff and equipment with Miami, FL-based supplier Belpromo (asi/39552), the companies have announced. The Hurricane organization will take over Belpromo's daily operations, managing a total workforce of nearly 500 people in a 350,000 sq. ft. facility. "We both had really good years in 2009," said Alan Tabasky, vice president of the Hurricane Line, in an exclusive interview yesterday with Counselor. "We got to the point where we needed more space to grow and this opportunity presented itself."

According to Tabasky, every employee from the Hurricane Line and Belpromo will be retained in the merger. Tabasky also says that Hurricane's revenues grew by about 40% this year and Belpromo's sales increased by about 95% in 2009. At least for the near future, the Hurricane Line and Belpromo will maintain separate ASI numbers and Web sites. "Our goal is to increase sales by 40% next year," Tabasky says. "Together, we'll be able to offer services we weren't able to offer before. Our machines are cutting edge, our production capabilities are improved and we'll be able to have more inventory."

Per the deal, the Hurricane Line is merging operations solely with Belpromo, which is a subsidiary of Bel Inc. As the parent company for several businesses, Bel Inc. also operates Discountmugs.com, which sells directly to end-users. However, there will be no affiliation between the Hurricane Line/Belpromo and Discountmugs.com. "Discountmugs.com has nothing to do with Belpromo," says Amin Rahman, president of Bel. "The companies are run by different people, there's different accounting software and a different space." Rahman says Bel Inc. will continue to operate its ceramic, paper and decal businesses. "This was the time for us to let Belpromo go," Rahman says. "There is good synergy between the companies and we're going to let the Hurricane Line grow the business. I won't be involved in the daily operations."

Established as a family business in 1986, the Hurricane Line entered the ad specialty industry a decade later. Belpromo was founded in 2003. The combined companies will manufacture drinkware, bags, keychains, pens and other promotional items.

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