In a continued, aggressive commitment toward company growth, Hayward Industries has announced its second acquisition in the past two months.
Following the purchase of Summit Pool Heaters in October, Hayward now has acquired CAT Controllers , a Rockville, Md.-based manufacturer of chemical controllers.
“CAT has done some very innovative things with telemetry that enable you to monitor a pool [remotely],” said Stuart Baker, vice president of new business development at Hayward, based in Elizabeth, N.J. “But the most immediate [attraction for Hayward] was the chemical automation technology.”
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Goldline , a Hayward acquisition in 2004, began working with CAT last year to integrate pH and ORP automation into the company’s salt chlorine generators.
“One of the big success drivers for Goldline Controls [is] that they’ve been able to marry the mechanical controls [into] the salt chlorine generators,” said Culin Tate, one of CAT’s founders. “Then it became a logical extension to integrate the water chemistry control … into those [systems] as well.”
The purchase also may indicate the emerging product viability of commercial controllers. Pentair Water Pool and Spa of Sanford, N.C., purchased fellow control manufacturer Acu-Trol Programmable Controllers in 2006.
“It’s been a really good [move] for Pentair because it’s helped put together the commercial segment for them, and it’s produced a lot of momentum,” said Jeff Sanchez, CEO of the Auburn, Calif.-based company. “I’m sure CAT will end up having the same kind of effect on Hayward.”
The residential market for chemical controllers appears to be opening up as well, as products become more affordable, according to Tate.
“With the recent acquisitions, you see the category of chemical automation really making it mainstream and being recognized,” he said. “It’s the next step in managing your [pool].”
Tate and co-owner Patrick Sweeney will remain in management roles under Hayward and look to grow the company under the Hayward banner.
In addition to purchasing Summit and Goldline, Hayward also acquired AquaVac , a manufacturer of robotic pool cleaners, in 2007.