Bruce BrooksCEOFluidra
Bruce Brooks

Another high-profile manufacturer has been consolidated into a "big three" company.

Pool/spa products manufacturer Fluidra has acquired Taylor Water Technologies, one of the top makers of water-testing equipment and supplies, from the holding company that owned it.

“This is an important acquisition for Fluidra and will greatly enhance our offering,” said Bruce Brooks, chief executive officer of the Barcelona-based pool/spa products manufacturer. whose North American headquarters are in Carlsbad, Calif. “Taylor is the most trusted name in water testing within North America, and their expertise, coupled with Fluidra’s track record of delivering new equipment and IoT solutions, will pave the way for future innovations that make managing water care easier for both pool professionals and pool owners.”

Troy FranzenPresidentFluidra North America
Troy Franzen
Fluidra North America

One of several acquisitions in 2021, this one takes the company into another new product category."We're looking to leverage our expertise in core equipment and connectivity to build out a broader water sanitization and maintenance portfolio," said Troy Franzen, president of Fluidra North America.

Fluidra expects more product development as a result of the consolidation. "Our primary goal will be to take their core expertise and Fluidra's ability to innovate and put focus on making watercare simpler and hands-free," Franzen added.

For dealers and consumers, this likely means more bundling opportunities, he said, with a focus on adding connected solutions to the equipment pad.

Fluidra also expects to carry Taylor products to new geographical markets throughout its global footprint.

The transaction is expected to have little to no impact on operations for the 81-year-old water-testing producer. Branding will remain the same. Its Sparks, Md., location and its staff will continue forward. Taylor CEO Stephen Heard will remain with the company, taking on the new title of senior vice president and general manager. He will report to Franzen.

“It’s exciting to become a part of Fluidra,” Heard said. “We each bring unique expertise as part of the large, multi-segment pool market and are focused on combining those building blocks to provide best-in-class solutions for our customers.”

According to Fluidra, Taylor produces nearly 600 test-kit configurations, sold through more than 400 distributors in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The previous 12 month’s sales totaled $26 million with an EBITDA of $8.5 million.

This marks the fourth acquisition in 2021 for Fluidra. It also purchased: Custom Molded Products (CMP), a Newnan, Ga.-based manufacturer whose many product offerings include sanitizing systems, LED lights, waterfeatures and fire elements; Built Right, a Punta Gorda, Fla.-based heat-pump maker; and S.R. Smith, a Canby, Ore.-based firm that makes deck products and accessories, and various commercial components.

While the company remains open to more acquisitions in the near future, it is not actively seeking them out for the time being. "We've had a great year and acquired some fantastic companies to help us build out a broader portfolio of product solutions for our customers," Franzen said. "We will be focused on leveraging these new technologies and areas of expertise to accelerate the development of those new solutions."

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