By Alan Naditz, Business Editor

The pool and spa industry experienced numerous acquisitions and mergers in the past year. Here are just a few:


  • Dal-Tile International Inc., a Dallas pool tile manufacturer, is acquired by Calhoun, Ga.-based ceramic tile and carpet maker Mohawk Industries Inc. for $1.66 billion. The merger combines two of the nation?s largest tile manufacturers and introduces Mohawk to the pool industry, according to Jeffrey Lorberbaum, Mohawk president and chief executive officer.
  • The Mendota Group, a Madison, Wis. investment group, acquires for an undisclosed sum Spectrum Aquatics, a Missoula, Mont.-based manufacturer/distributor of residential, commercial and institutional products for the aquatics industry. The company will continue to do business as Spectrum Aquatics.


  • Covington, La.-based SCP Distributors Inc., a subsidiary of SCP Pool Corp., acquires the assets of Capital Pool Industries Ltd. of Toronto. Capital?s two branches will do business as Capital Pool, a division of SCP Distributors Inc. Terms of the deal are not disclosed.
  • In another international move, SCP acquires Exporlinea Importacao e Exportacao de Equipamentos para Tratamento de Aguas e Outros, LDA, which distributes through two service centers in Portimao and Lisbon, Portugal. Terms of the deal are not disclosed.


  • Sta-Rite Industries, a Delevan, Wis.-based pool equipment manufacturer, acquires two El Monte, Calif., companies for an undisclosed sum: Vico Products

    Manufacturing Co., and Ultra Jet Plastics and its Brantford, Ontario, affiliate,

    Ultra Jet Canada. Vico and Ultra Jet comprise one of the industry?s leading

    manufacturers of spa and jetted tub fittings, according to Sta-Rite Communications

    Manager Rick Heine.

  • Zodiac Pool Care, a Pompano Beach, Fla.-based pool products manufacturer, acquires Clearwater Australia Pty. Ltd. of Melbourne, Australia, and its affiliates,

    Clearwater USA Inc. of Tempe, Ariz., and Clearwater Chlorinators South Africa.

    The acquired firm is one of the world?s top manufacturers of saltwater

    chlorinators and a maker of pool and spa dosing equipment, according to Zodiac



  • Watkins Manufacturing Corp. parent Masco Corp., based in Taylor, Mich., buys Tacoma, Wash.-based backyard products maker Milgard Manufacturing for an undisclosed sum. Masco acquires all 16 of Milgard?s manufacturing and assembly facilities on the West Coast, according to Masco officials.
  • Hanley-Wood, LLC, a Washington, D.C.-based publisher of magazines for the residential and commercial construction industry, acquires Pool & Spa News and Aquatics International from Leisure Publications Inc. in Los Angeles for an undisclosed sum.
  • Decatur, Ga.-based BioLab Inc.?s European subsidiary, Bayrol, acquires the swimming pool business of Atofina of France. Bayrol, a German pool products supplier, incorporates Atofina?s operations in the French cities of Ballee and LeChambre, according to a BioLab release.


  • Poolman Inc., reportedly Arizona?s largest provider of pool services, acquires Sun West Pools and Phoenix Maintenance Services, two Phoenix-based pool service firms, according to Poolman officials. The acquisitions continue the growth pattern of Poolman?s parent, American Pool Enterprises of Beltsville, Md. — this deal marks nine acquisitions since 1999 for American Pool Enterprises.


  • Cantar Marketing, a division of Toronto-based pool accessories maker Polyair Inter Pack Inc., acquires the assets of Eskott Removable Fencing Products, a Van Nuys, Calif.-based distributor of child barrier safety fencing for inground pools.
  • Natural Chemistry Inc. of Stamford, Conn., merges with Natural Chemistry Canada Inc. of Campbellford, Ontario. The two firms, which each began in 1989 as unrelated makers of all-natural pool and spa water treatment products, merged to give the companies greater ability to expand into other markets, according to company officials.


  • Pool products distributor SCP Pool Corp. of Covington, La., buys the pool products division of its top competitor, Hughes Supply Inc. of Orlando, Fla., for an estimated $45 million to $50 million, according to Steve Zepf, Hughes supply chief executive officer. The purchase takes Hughes out of the pool business and gives SCP a presence on the East and West coasts, according to officials from both companies.

[This article is a reprint from Pool & Spa News, January 2002.]

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Phoenix, AZ, Los Angeles, CA.