Viking Pools has fortified its position in the fiberglass pool segment with the recent acquisition of manufacturer Trilogy Pools.
The deal, whose financial terms were not disclosed, was completed Oct. 11, according to Mark Laven, president/CEO of Latham International, Viking’s parent company. It comes just a year after Viking acquired fiberglass pool manufacturer Blue Hawaiian.
“We identified [Trilogy] as a prospect and determined they would make a good fit for the Viking business,” Laven said. “The size of their dealer network is impressive, but Trilogy has such a good reputation for building quality products and servicing their customers that we were very impressed with the strength of those relationships, really more so than the number of customers they serve.”
Trilogy has a network of more than 120 builders concentrated across 20 states primarily in the Midwest, Southeast and along the East Coast, according to Ted Baudendistel, the company’s co-owner. Baudendistel will continue on as Trilogy’s general manager along with fellow co-owner Rick Black, who will also remain, assuming the position of Trilogy operations manager.
Viking plans to retain Trilogy’s staff as well as its plant located in Fayetteville, Tenn.
“Given the population and the annual volume of pools in that portion of the country, having Viking and Trilogy together really strengthens our position in the marketplace,” Laven said, adding that immediate logistical advantages include stocking both manufacturers’ pools at all facilities.
“Those benefits are important to builders because ultimately they impact cost, and that means profitability,” Laven added.
Longer-term, he said, the same models likely will be produced out of multiple locations.
Trilogy builders also will gain access to Viking’s extensive marketing programs, which include Web optimization and other capabilities.
“[Viking] has the infrastructure,” Baudendistel said. “Whereas we had most of the pieces there, they have a lot of depth that we didn’t. It gives us access to a number of resources that we can bring to bear within our builder network, and gives us the opportunity to grow a lot faster than we would have under our own power, so to speak.”
News of the deal was well-received by several Trilogy builders, a number of whom also have experience with Latham products.
Shirly Waddell, co-owner of Waddell Pools in Decatur, Ala., has been installing Trilogy Pools for the past three years. However, her company has built vinyl-liner pools by Fort Wayne Pools, a division of Latham International, for decades.
“We have no problems at all with Latham buying Trilogy because they’re a reputable establishment,” she said. “They’ve always taken good care of us.”
Based in Latham, N.Y., Latham International has acquired several industry firms over the past decade. Its family of brands includes Pacific Pools, Kafko Pool Products and cover manufacturer Coverstar Inc. In early 2010, Latham became a portfolio company of private-equity firm Littlejohn & Co. of Greenwich, Conn.