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Tender Corp. Aims for New Heights

Published Wednesday Jul 31, 2019

Close up of After Bite being placed in shirt pocket

The manufacturer of the top-selling safety kit for those who summit Mount Everest, Tender Corporation in Littleton is ready to take its business to new heights. The 46-year-old producer of such well-known brands as After Bite, AfterBurn, and Adventure Medical Kits recently appointed Christopher Heye as CEO with the aim to grow the company even more.

Headshot of Christopher Keye “We are a really good New Hampshire company, and we are going to be a great New Hampshire company,” Heye (pictured) says. Tender Corporation ranked 50th on Business NH Magazine’s 2018 list of the state’s Top 100 Private Companies, reporting 175 employees, more than $50 million in annual revenue, and three-year average annual revenue growth of 7 percent.

Heye succeeds Jason Cartwright, who is stepping down to pursue new entrepreneurial activities but will continue to serve on Tender’s board of directors. “We are excited to have someone of Chris’s caliber join the Tender team to help build on our momentum,” says Gary A. Kiedaisch, an experienced outdoor products and consumer packaged goods executive who recently invested in Tender and became chair of the company’s board. The appointment of Heye closely follows a management-led recapitalization in January that brought in Victor Capital Partners, a private equity firm, to help accelerate growth.

“Tender has brands that should be in every household in America,” says Kiedaisch. “Working with what we already have on the table, we can grow the business significantly, increasing that reach and market penetration. We have the number one brand in many areas.” Heye says he sees growth potential in a market where product performance can literally be life or death, and brand loyalty is fierce. “Adventure Medical saves people’s lives,” Heye says of the medical kit designed for outdoor adventurers. “You might be more than 100 miles from the nearest hospital, so it can make all the difference.” One big reason Adventure Medical is a leader, Heye says, is the inclusion of a complete guide to field medicine written by a doctor.

Kiedaisch says the new capital will allow Tender to make investments and seek opportunities to expand. Heye says the company, which completed a new 117,250-square-foot headquarters at Littleton Industrial Park in 2016, plans to continue to grow in Littleton.

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