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Action Products Intl. Inc. (APII) Acquires Merchant Bank, Names New CEO

In a move designed to enhance its intellectual property access in the United States, Action Products International, Inc. (NASDAQ: APII) completed acquisition of B.E. Overseas Investment Group LLC.

Action Products is a global manufacturer and distributor of educational and non-violent children’s products. B.E. Overseas is a merchant bank and consulting company focused primarily on the medical field that provides capital to foreign companies.

“Through the B.E. Home Medical Products Group, B.E. has agreements to release several electronic home health products from overseas companies,” a company news release said. “Bunch of Expressions is a uniquely modeled import and distribution company selling fresh flowers from South and Central America in the United States.”

In the move, Neil Swartz was named the company’s next CEO and Chairman, to start Sept. 2. He served on APII’s board of directors from 2002 to 2006. Ronald Kaplan, currently in those positions, will become Action Products’ President and COO, to focus on recruiting and integrating new products and corporations.

“By becoming part of APII we will be better able to give B.E.’s clients the infrastructure backbone to introduce product lines to US markets much faster,” Swartz said. “Our goal is to bring growth and profitability to the company as quickly as possible. … From the analysis of Action we feel that there is an underlying value in the company that is ready to be maximized. We are determined and focused on turning the company back to growth and profitability. Our mission is to give good returns to our shareholders. We feel we have the human resources, and capital resources are available for us to carry out our plan.”

To increase near-term cash flow, Sizer Capital Fund, LLC (a B.E. Overseas investor) has committed to an equity investment of $500,000. Action is selling to Sizer Capital 500,000 shares of newly-authorized convertible preferred stock; each share of preferred stock is convertible into one share of Action common stock.

With the merger, APII now maintains strong relationships with many ISO-certified manufacturers based in China, leading to improved supply and distribution logistics and access to capital. For more information about APII, visit

“I believe the company is better than it was when we started the transformative period in 1997,” Kaplan said, “since overcoming more than a few tumultuous times and events, and I believe APII will achieve unprecedented performance. I believe our children’s business can get back to operational profitability in 2009 and will directly benefit from the divisionalizing of corporate and public company related matters.”

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