Neptune-Benson, a manufacturer of commercial pool filtration systems has announced the acquisition of Lawson Aquatics, a maker of main drain and rim-flow system components. The deal was finalized Dec. 30, 2011.

This is Neptune-Benson’s first step in a strategic growth initiative resulting from an August 2011 partnership with Audax Group, a Boston-based private equity company, said Barry Gertz, Neptune-Benson CEO. The Lawson purchase is one of several Neptune-Benson anticipates, some as soon as 2012.

“[The news] has been extremely well received,” Gertz said. “We anticipate that existing customer/supplier relationships with Lawson would remain firmly intact and that everything Neptune-Benson is planning to bring to the table would enhance those relationships.”

Officials at Lawson also are pleased with the new arrangement. “It’s an excellent marriage between two companies,” said Robert Lawson, CEO of Lawson Aquatics. “We’re strong in our markets and have a number of synergies that we bring to each other.”

Though Lawson Aquatics’ entire Naples, Fla.-based operation will relocate to Neptune-Benson’s facility in Coventry, R.I., key sales and managerial staff members will remain Neptune-Benson employees. Lawson will continue in an executive capacity. A specific date for the transition has not yet been established.

Neptune-Benson designs and manufactures filtration equipment, pool recirculation systems and aquatic system components.

Lawson Aquatics’ product offerings include grating systems, main drains and sumps and custom-fabricated products.