Package-pool manufacturer Latham International has purchased Coverstar Inc., the Lindon, Utah-based maker of automatic pool covers.
This marks the fifth acquisition in four years for the Latham, N.Y., firm. Formerly known primarily for its Pacific line of inground vinyl-liner pools, the manufacturer now puts its name behind Kafko packaged pools, Viking one-piece fiberglass pools, Fort Wayne packaged pools and Triac vinyl and fiberglass pool products.
Having already produced manual safety covers for nearly a decade, Latham wanted to venture into automatic covers. “Automatic covers are a growth category in the swimming pool industry. We were initially attracted to the category before being attracted to Coverstar itself,” said Mark P. Laven, president/ CEO of Latham. “Coverstar brings to the table new customers for us. It brings geographic expansion of our business and product diversification.”
Latham approached Coverstar, said Lanny Smith, president of the cover manufacturer. The company expects to benefit from Coverstar’s reach in the gunite and shotcrete sides of the business, while Coverstar plans to see its product used on more vinyl and fiberglass pools.
Little to no change is in the foreseeable future for Coverstar, according to Laven. Smith will continue as president of the company, which will be run as an independent unit at its Utah facility. “People should not expect much change at all, except perhaps with more resources from Latham behind it,” said Smith, who became a Latham shareholder as part of the acquisition. “Distributors and dealers should look for more support and professional products in the future.”
Latham’s policy of aggressive diversification will continue, Laven said. “The common theme is that we’re constantly looking for leaders in the particular segments of the business, companies that are well-run, have high-quality products and great relationships with their customers,” he said. “While our base business is also growing, we will continue to seek acquisitions that fit those criteria.”
Latham International has 20 locations throughout the United States and Canada, and employs approximately 1,400 people. The firm anticipates revenues of $200 million to $300 million this year.