MRO Magazine

American National Acquires Rapid Air Systems’ Assets in a Move That Ultimately Improves Consumer Choice in the Adjustable Air Supported Sleep Market


May 18, 2016
By Business Wire News

CORONA, Calif.

American National Manufacturing today announced its asset acquisition of a key technology partner — Milwaukee-based Rapid Air Systems. While the financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, the move serves to further secure a long-term position of strength for American National in both the medical and consumer adjustable air bed markets.

“We couldn’t be more excited about the prospect of our technology living on within the innovative product development team at American National,” said Rapid Air Systems Chairman John Riley. “The time was right to integrate our unique control unit technology with a trusted and time-tested partner.” Rapid Air Systems is the designer and manufacturer of components for the adjustable air supported mattress market. Riley is an active private investor and has served as a member of a number of corporate boards including Rapid Air Systems over the years.

American National President and Owner Craig Miller agreed. “We’ve been friendly competitors with John over the years and have the utmost respect for not only his innovations, but for the way he does business. The control units are a critical component in providing the most customized sleep experience possible,” Miller said. “This acquisition will give us an even broader product portfolio with which to go to market.” Miller’s American National Manufacturing has been a leading innovator in several consumer bedding markets since the early 1970s. American National produced its first patented computerized adjustable air supported sleep system in 1986, which indicated the bed’s firmness adjustment by reference to a number on the bed’s remote.

American National is the producer of two popular consumer air-adjustable bed brands (often referred to generically as “number beds”) – Instant Comfort and Personal Comfort. These air adjustable beds are specialty beds used by consumers who prefer individualized comfort from an adjustable firmness air-inflated mattress as compared to an innerspring or foam mattress. The original product gained national consumer recognition as the Nautilus Sleep System and also FITRest bed. Being designed and manufactured by American National and marketed via nationwide broadcast television and print advertising, the technology behind the Nautilus brand was one of the most widely adopted American National innovations.

Terms of the acquisition include all intellectual property, including assignments of patents, trademarks and service marks. American National’s growing Dallas-area manufacturing plant will be home to the future innovations from the Rapid Air acquisition. American National’s Corona, Calif. plant will continue to manufacture specialized consumer and medical sleep surfaces.

Rapid Air Systems

Milwaukee-based Rapid Air Systems has been a leading component maker for the air-adjustable bed market. The company designed and developed the control units for ComfortAire®, a nationally known brand which was later acquired. Chairman John Riley is a Past President of the Contract Packaging Association and has been a speaker at national events on the topic of strategic growth, business life cycles and market positioning. John graduated from the University of Notre Dame and presently serves on the Advisory Board of the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at Notre Dame. John and his family have actively supported academic endowments at several educational institutions.

American National Manufacturing

American National Manufacturing, with manufacturing plants in Corona, Calif. and Carrollton, Texas, has been a leading manufacturer of sleep surfaces for the consumer and medical markets for more than 30 years. An innovative design team has invented some of the most unique and first-to-market technologies across multiple industries. From consumer air-adjustable beds, to therapeutic hospital mattress and a wealth of OEM products. For more information contact American National at (800) 854-6295

American National Manufacturing
Mary Nell Westbrook, 913-484-3509
mwestbrook@americannationalmfg.com