Pioneering industry firm Paddock Pools has been acquired by a former executive of the company.
Former Paddock general manager Craig Maggi, along with former investment banker Tom McKee, took over the Phoenix-based company from the private equity firm Lincolnshire Management at the end of January.
“I knew when this brand became available that I would jump on it if I was able to do so,” Maggi said. “This is a dream come true for me. We are so excited about the opportunities. We feel that Paddock is ready to break out and to be that top pool company again.”
Maggi, who has been in the pool and spa industry for more than 30 years, started at Paddock in 2009 as service manager, and later became general manager of the company before leaving in February 2012.
Paddock has already begun expanding its staff in anticipation of increased business.
“We’ve brought back four employees who had been let go because of store closings. The employee base here is very loyal and qualified,” Maggi said.
News of the sale has created some buzz in the Phoenix area. “We’ve had customers call us back and are very excited, saying, ‘I just want to tell you guys that we’ll use you for service now,’ ” Maggi said.
The sale included the Paddock name, the ongoing construction and service businesses, and the two retail stores that remain from the several formerly run by the company. In addition, Maggi said he plans to reopen a store in the Arrowhead section of the Phoenix area at a site to be determined.
The company’s current offices were not part of the deal with Lincolnshire, so the headquarters will be moved to Paddock’s retail outlet in Scottsdale. The other store is in nearby Tempe.
The firm has roots in the original Paddock Pools, founded in 1924. In 1958, George Ghiz purchased a franchise from Paddock Pools of California. His business was called Paddock Pool Distributing Co. and was a combination manufacturer/distributor/builder and franchiser. Ghiz quickly split the enterprise, keeping the Paddock name for the construction arm and calling the manufacturing and distribution segment Paramount.
By 1988, when George Ghiz passed away, his sons were running the firm. Lewis “Buzz” Ghiz served as president, David Ghiz as senior vice president in charge of retail, and Edward Ghiz oversaw construction.
They expanded the firm, courting home builders, which accounted for 60 percent of Paddock’s construction in 2004. By then, the company had eight locations in Phoenix and two in Las Vegas, building approximately 2,500 pools per year.
Paddock was a Pool & Spa News Top Builder for nine years. Until it dropped out of the list in 2012, it was in the top 10, reaching as high as No. 3 in 2003 and 2004.
In 2005, the Ghizes sold Paddock to a private equity firm, but kept Paramount, still led by Buzz Ghiz today, in the family.
“I saw the tremendous potential that Paddock has. The brand is so solid here, and trusted,” Maggi said. He added that the firm intends to “get back to the core belief of what made Paddock so strong in the past — the construction, the service, the remodeling and the customer service.”