Latham has made a strategic investment in Narellan Pools to share IP, develop new technology and drive growth in the domestic and global swimming pool industry.
Latham is owned by private equity firms Pamplona Capital Management and Wynnchurch Capital, and as part of the deal, long-time Narellan managing director Chris Meyer now also owns part of Latham. Others in the Latham management team have also invested in the company.
The objectives of the partnership are to accelerate the growth of the fibreglass industry throughout North America and globally, and to continue the strong growth of Narellan Pools in the Australian and New Zealand markets.
The Narellan Group is a leading fibreglass pool manufacturer, franchisor and exporter with an enviable growth record locally and includes the company’s Australian, New Zealand and Canadian franchise, manufacturing businesses and export operations.
Meyer says there will be synergies to bring some Latham product to Australia.
“They do have some great products and innovations – but we’re just looking at what works for each other. The DNA of Latham is rooted in quality and they are a brilliant company with great values, so we’re working out the best ways we can work together on the global market – a true form of partnership in a very positive way,” he says.
“It will be business as usual in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, while building growth in an accelerated but intelligent way through this synergistic partnership, and improve both our industries.”
Meyer will continue to lead these markets and, as a shareholder in the new enlarged Latham family, will also drive the fibreglass pool expansion into the United States.
“Latham has invested in Narellan to grow the business here, and also to accelerate the growth of the fibreglass industry throughout North America,” says Meyer. “They’ve identified we are the best at what we do, and it is my job it to help develop and lead the strategy by applying my learnings from 30 years in the pool industry.”
The partnership with Narellan Pools will support Latham Pool Products’ continued growth by opening new markets around the globe, and by expanding its industry-leading manufacturing capabilities.
“Australia leads the world in fibreglass swimming pools,” Meyer says. “For me it’s about rolling out the brand and our current business model into the North American market, which includes our marketing strategy, sales processes and network building, while accelerating the growth in the Australian market which means maintaining our goal of doubling our current Australian sales in the next few years.”
Meyer says his team knows how to unlock the potential within a market.
“The Australian market has grown about eight percent over the past six years and we’ve grown in excess of 150 per cent over the same time. We plan to keep doing that.”
Australia is a world leader in fibreglass swimming pool technology, with Meyer estimating the penetration rate of fibreglass in Australia as approximately 70 per cent and growing. This is compared to between 10 per cent and 20 per cent in North America.
He says this is similar to the Australian market in the 1980s and he will work closely with Latham to provide strategic leadership to unlock the fibreglass market in North America.
Latham president and CEO Scott Rajeski says that Narellan Pools is known for its continuous commitment to developing high quality products and innovative manufacturing technologies.
“Their best-in-class marketing capabilities, including effective social media strategies, have fuelled strong growth by tapping into today’s mobile media savvy customers,” says Rajeski.
“Adding Chris and his dedicated leadership team to Latham was key to forming this strategic partnership. He brings an unbelievable passion for growth and success and we’re excited to take on the next challenge together.”
Caption: Long-time Narellan managing director Chris Meyer
There will be more on this story in the upcoming print edition of SPLASH!