The Evolve Group has completed a multimillion-dollar investment deal partnering with an unnamed private investment firm which will enable Evolve and Poolrite to continue their aggressive growth trajectory and grow their Australian manufacturing facility.
Last year Evolve sought investment, then decided to sell the entire operation. But now, Evolve managing director Ty Hermans says the private equity offer enables them to bring in a minority shareholder who can invest enough for them to drive growth where it is needed.
“The investors saw an opportunity to get behind Evolve and our huge pipeline of new design and manufacturing work which will more than double the size of the Group in the next few years,” he says.
Hermans says that initially they considered separate investment in Poolrite, however the idea of combining the two under one investment made sense, giving both companies the ammunition they need to continue to grow.
Evolve specialises in designing and manufacturing high quality products in Australia which Hermans says is more cost effective than in China or other overseas countries. In the pool industry sector they manufacture and distribute the Poolrite brand of equipment.
He says the investment is a positive announcement that has been in the works for some time.
“This investment will ensure Poolrite and Evolve have the equipment, resources and funding to grow well into the future,” he says.
Poolrite to stand alone
“Additionally, it enables Poolrite to establish itself as a new standalone entity in the near future, which will allow it to build a strong team headed up by Dale Collins with a sole focus on the pool industry, customer service and delivering an iconic Australian-made brand to the market.”
He says this will significantly improve the Poolrite offering and has been a long time coming.
“For us it is important that Poolrite be able to build its own identity independently from Evolve and really focus on the industry and its customers,” he says.
“Evolve has been growing so rapidly and has taken so much of our focus, attention and resources, Poolrite has no doubt suffered – this investment changes all of that and Dale and I are really excited about where he will take Poolrite in the coming years.”
Poolrite has partnered with an Australian chlorinator manufacturer to re-launch its Enduro range along with the “S” Series mineral system with pH control to deliver a complete range of units available for order later this month.
Hermans says the Revive multi mineral blend and skimmer box released in 2018 have been very successful products along with Diamond Kleen, further adding to the core range of SQ and Enduro pumps and filters.
A portion of the investment will see Evolve upgrade nearly half of their facility with brand-new world class injection moulding machines, new robots, and a new facility-wide chiller system installed to increase the Evolve factory’s capacity and further improve quality.
The new equipment will start to arrive as early as May and will be commissioned in Brisbane in July/August.
“The new equipment cannot arrive quickly enough as we have been aggressively growing the plastics and composites business and are currently running 24/7 at above 85 per cent capacity just to keep up with demand,” says Hermans.
Factory to be run on solar power
The next stage of investment will see a 650kw solar system and a recycling plant installed to enable Evolve to reduce their power consumption and also recycle plastic waste materials onsite at their Brisbane facility.
Hermans says this will further establish Evolve as a world class leader in the field of product design and manufacturing with a focus on the circular economy, while supporting recycling and reuse of raw materials.
“As a group, Evolve and Poolrite appreciate all of our customers’ ongoing support and patience over the years. The hard work begins now and over the coming few months while the new structure is established, machines commissioned and we start to drastically improve our capacity, DIFOT and overall level of customer service,” says Hermans.