Spa Industries, Australia’s largest manufacturer of spas and swim spas, has been sold to Shengya Sanitary Ware Co. Ltd., a Guangdong-based manufacturer of acrylic spa and bath products. Amongst other products, Shengya manufactures Australian brand Maax Spas and Lspa.
Spa Industries is a privately held company owned by Graham Ritchie, who started the business 21 years ago. Ritchie will now retire from the spa industry and concentrate on his other businesses including property development. Settlement is due to take place in early October, 2015. The purchase includes all brands, stock, intellectual property, plant and equipment, vehicles and the premises.
Spa Industries currently builds approximately 4500 spas and swim spas per year at its state-of-the-art factory in Hallam, Victoria. This makes up about 40 per cent of the estimated 11,000 unit Australian market, and additionally they make 8000 indoor spas and spa baths, which is about 20 per cent of the indoor market.
Their brands include Signature Spas, Cyclone Spas, Designer Spas, Bullfrog Spas, Leisurerite Spas, Heritage Spas and Infinity Swim Spas.
Shengya has a 3000 square metre factory in Guangdong and more than 400 employees including eight engineers. They are currently constructing a new facility based on the Australian Spa Industries model which should be ready by mid-2016.
The purchase is seen as an endorsement of the Australian manufacturing processes which will be replicated in the new Chinese facility.
Rob Kruber, operations director of Spa Industries, says it was Spa Industries’ position as number one in the Australian market, as well as its international reputation, that attracted Shengya.
“For this reason, we have been approached by an international company based in Hong Kong who has identified our manufacturing processes and experienced staff as being the perfect platform to build their business on,” he says. He says the new owners of the business have been in the spa and pool industry for 23 years.
The only Australian staff losses will be Ritchie and his PA, while more jobs will be created from the sale including a new R&D/quality manager, an operations/IT manager and a digital online marketer due to come on board within the coming months.
The aim is to have the business ready to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in five years.
As the company is no longer limited to Australia and New Zealand, the name will change to Spa Industries International Pty Ltd.
“With access to the international manufacturing facility, we now have the ability to offer our customers a wider choice of products that will be unmatched in the industry,” says Kruber.
Ritchie says he has been in the industry for 30 years, starting in service, then retail and finishing up in manufacturing. “It has been a great industry that I have enjoyed and this decision is not one that has been made lightly,” he says. “I am excited for the future owners to take the business to the next level.
“I have been fortunate to have had a great life out of the industry and have gained many good friendships with business associates. I am looking forward to my future ventures.”
More to come in the printed magazine, Issue 102.