Chemical manufacturer and distributor Haviland Pool and Spa Products has acquired another such company.
Baleco International, a manufacturer and distributor of water-treatment supplies and pool accessories in North Bend, Ohio, will become a Haviland company and retain all its employees.
Management at both companies said the acquisition should benefit Baleco employees and the newly expanded Haviland brand.
“Their facility, their location and capabilities are a great fit for us,” said Art Harre, chief sales officer at Haviland. "But their people and the way they respond to customers was the key. We want them to do what they’ve done successfully for almost 60 years – service the customer.”
Baleco began as a Cincinnati Soap Center in 1958 before adding pool chemistry in 1962. The company moved to its current 100,000 square foot facility in 1979. Today, it offers a wide variety of pool-water treatment products, including Aquamate and Maintain Pool Pro, as well as providing private labeling services.
Having grown up in Baleco as a family-owned company, Jeff Hammersmith, general manager and son of Founder Lee Hammersmith, said management was looking to do what was best for the next generation. Grand Rapids Mich.-based Haviland seemed like a good fit, he added. The company was founded in 1934, and this year celebrates 20 years as an employee stock ownership plan business.
“The Haviland family had the same decision some years ago and they decided to become employee-owned (ESOP),” said Jeff Hammersmith. “We’re happy to be able to add our employees into their retirement program like that. This is a great fit for our people and for our business.”