On Feb. 1, Jandy Pool Products acquired Cover-Pools Inc., one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of automatic swimming pool covers.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
This is Jandy’s second acquisition since The Carlyle Group, a private equity firm, purchased the Petaluma, Calif.-based company in 2006. Jandy bought the Levelor line of electronic water-fill units in July.
“This announcement further exemplifies The Carlyle Group’s continued commitment to the pool industry — and their goal to grow our company,” said Bob Rasp, Jandy’s CEO.
Cover-Pools is a Salt Lake City-based family business that was founded in 1962 by Joe Lamb, whom many credit with creating the automatic pool cover in 1958. Former Cover-Pools co-owners Rick Clark and Kelly Ragsdale now are serving as vice presidents of Jandy’s new pool covers division.
Ragsdale said he and Clark were not actively seeking buyers for the company and had turned away several other suitors for the business over the past few years.
“But about a year ago, when Jandy called, it was a different story,” Ragsdale said, adding that he and Clark were flattered that Jandy had “such high esteem” for Cover-Pools.
“We began talking with them and had quite a few conversations about what kind of complementary things the two companies can do for each other.”
The acquisition is a good fit, Ragsdale said, because Jandy’s large sales staff will be able to sell more automatic covers than Cover-Pools’ smaller team “could have ever imagined.” The company’s potential for growth, according to Ragsdale, was always hampered by the inability to “get enough people in the field to talk to builders and offer our covers.”
Cover-Pools is among the most recognizable and popular brands of automatic covers in the industry, according to a recent Pool & Spa News survey of builders. Jandy’s acquisition of Cover-Pools should only increase the brand’s penetration in the market, industry insiders said.
“The purchase of Cover-Pools gets Jandy even deeper into the pockets of pool builders and pool buyers,” said Brian Quint, president of Aqua Quip, a Pool & Spa News Top Builder based in Renton, Wash. “I think Jandy is just taking a lesson learned by Pentair’s series of acquisitions over the years, but taking it to a higher level.”
Vance Gillette, Jandy’s executive vice president of sales and marketing, added, “This will allow us to serve pool professionals and pool owners more effectively, in that they can satisfy all of their pool equipment needs from one manufacturer.”
Ragsdale said builders who have installed covers manufactured by Cover-Pools should not notice any changes.
Cover-Pools has seen more than 75,000 of its automatic pool covers installed in the company’s 46-year history.