PLANO, Texas, Nov. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Rug Doctor, maker of the world's most popular brand of carpet cleaning rental machines, announced today that American Capital Strategies Ltd (NASDAQ:ACAS) of Bethesda, Maryland has made a majority investment in the Company. Rug Doctor utilized the expertise and services of Houlihan Lokey and Phil Roman and Company to navigate and facilitate the sales process.
For over 35 years, Americans have echoed the famous Rug Doctor slogan "Steamin' Mad at Dirt!" Today, with over $300M in annual retail sales and over 42,000 retail outlets, Rug Doctor has grown from humble beginnings to become a household name in the do-it-yourself carpet care industry. American Capital's investment will now enable Rug Doctor to aggressively accelerate its share of the market for high-end, consumer-owned cleaning machines, while also strengthening its leadership as the most widely distributed carpet cleaning rental machine in America today.
"Rug Doctor has pioneered the expansion of the steam cleaning machine rental market with the development of its professional-grade products and sophisticated nationwide servicing model," said Jeff MacDowell, American Capital Managing Director. "The Company's success is supported by an attractive product offering of effective, affordable and easy to use carpet care and cleaning equipment and products and strong and long-standing relationships with the leading grocery, mass and Do-It-Yourself retailers."
Founded by a professional carpet cleaner back in 1972, Roger Kent built the first Rug Doctor machine in his garage. He sold it to a fellow professional -- then he built another one. Soon, Kent realized that there was also a growing demand among consumers who wanted the same cleaning power that professionals were using. Kent's idea was to make a machine that was so easy to use, anyone, not only professionals, could deep clean carpets.
Soon after, Kent launched the first rental program that made professional-grade carpet cleaning machines available to the public.
Rug Doctor's revolutionary idea soon rocked the carpet cleaning industry, enabling the average consumer to achieve professional carpet cleaning results. More than 5 years later, Rug Doctor has grown to become a household name and continues as the leading carpet care rental system with innovative products, well-established retailer relationships, and, most enviable, a loyal base of satisfied customers.
In 2005, Rug Doctor introduced the Mighty Pro, entering the retail market for the first time by offering for sale the same powerful machine that had already logged over 100 million consumer rentals. Now consumers could own the same powerful Rug Doctor machine that was previously marketed as a rental-only product. Combining a nation-wide direct response television campaign with a highly-regarded brand and a product that redefined the word "premium" in retail floor care departments across the US, Rug Doctor rapidly gained momentum in only two years as a consumer-owned product. Today, Rug Doctor has proven to be a formidable player in the retail market and is currently available for purchase in a growing number of locations, including all Kohl's stores nationwide. Rug Doctor will soon be available at participating Costco stores, and can also be found at other retail locations now listed at the Rug Doctor website, http://www.rugdoctor.com/. The Mighty Pro will also be featured in the 2008 JCPenney catalog.
In 2006, Rug Doctor was recognized by the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) and awarded its prestigious Gold standard as the only consumer-operated system to pass their rigorous standards in removing dirt particles from carpet fibers. The CRI testing standards were originally developed by NASA scientists in measuring dust particles from returning Space Shuttle flights.
Leading carpet manufacturers are also beginning to recognize this standard. Tim Wall, president and CEO of Rug Doctor, LP adds, "The CRI Gold standard has never been awarded to any other do-it-yourself cleaning system. In fact, if consumers are cleaning their carpets with something other than a Rug Doctor, they may actually void the warranty from their carpet manufacturer. Rug Doctor is proud to maintain the highest standards in carpet cleaning, ranking even higher than many professional carpet cleaning systems."
Steve Wahl, Vice President of Marketing for Rug Doctor, LP, also promises, "Together with the resources of American Capital, we believe the Rug Doctor brand will continue to grow both domestically and overseas. This is great news for consumers, as we continue the vision of our founder, Roger Kent -- to put the power of the professional in the hands of the consumer. Both with our innovative equipment design and with our expanding line of powerful cleaning products, Rug Doctor makes everyone a professional!"
According to Wahl, Rug Doctor will be launching a new initiative in its national television campaign later this month, featuring a new accessory -- the Floor Doctor. This floor cleaning attachment will convert the popular Mighty Pro into a virtual "wall-to-wall" cleaning machine, with the ability to clean hard surface floors with the same power for which Rug Doctor is famous.
This newest creative initiative will be aired on national networks and local television stations in late November, appearing on average a full 17 hours a day, 7 days a week, according to Wahl.
Look for exciting news from Rug Doctor in the near future. With the "Steamin' Mad" power of the Rug Doctor brand, dirty carpets may not stand a chance.
Rug Doctor is located in Plano, Texas and currently has over 700 employees worldwide.
DATASOURCE: Rug Doctor
CONTACT: Liesl Mayerson of Rug Doctor, +1-972-673-1467
Web site: http://www.rugdoctor.com/
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