International water treatment and swimming pool equipment manufacturer and merchant, Waterco Ltd, has acquired Automated Pool Products Pty Ltd (AutoPool), best known as the distributor of the iconic Australian pool cleaner, Kreepy Krauly.
The move bolsters Waterco’s extensive range of filtration, sanitisation and heating equipment while consolidating its position as one of the industry’s last remaining Australian-owned and operated companies.
“Purchasing APP, or AutoPool as it’s known, is part of our strategy to strengthen Waterco’s market share, especially in Western Australia and Queensland,” says CEO and chairman, Soon Sinn Goh.
“AutoPool’s established brand name, excellent market reputation and digital transformation will enable us to offer comprehensive pool and spa solutions to customers throughout Australia,” he says.
AutoPool owner and general manager Grant Craig will continue working for the company.
Waterco marketing manager Bryan Goh says they found Waterco and Autopool were complementary.
“They have a good presence in a number of markets we’re not involved in; a big presence in WA and a significant presence in Queensland,” he says.
“Clearly it’s great that they’ve got the official distributorship of Kreepy Krauly, but that wasn’t the prime driver of our acquisition. When we looked at them we saw we didn’t really come up against them in the market, and that means we get a new revenue stream. That’s why we’re keeping the AutoPool business as is – we’re retaining the name and the owner Grant has stayed on. It’s business as usual.”
Goh says that over time, they’ll explore other synergies, including utilising their existing access to markets in Europe and North America.
“AutoPool also supplies a lot of pumps and filters and that’s going to continue, we don’t want to disrupt what they’re doing or what they sell, and want them to keep their good customer relations. It’s more about adding their sales and revenue stream to ours,” he says.
Business as usual for AutoPool
Grant Craig says it is pleasing that AutoPool will continue as normal.
“We will maintain our existing locations with our existing team of professional staff. It is an exciting time for AutoPool to join with Waterco and we look forward to continuing to provide the high-quality products and service we have become known for.”
Craig says he was looking for a partner to work with, and Waterco ticked all the right boxes.
“They have a good reputation and good respect in the industry, their branch managers are well respected and their products are well received in the market. It seemed like a good synergy between us,” he says.
“I was also buoyed by the fact that they wanted to keep the business operating in its current form. The fact they wanted to keep the same buildings, same staff, same products and service made it a more attractive proposition from my point of view, as well as the fact they wanted me to stay on and help with the transition and help consolidate and grow the business.
“I’m happy to give my commitment and support to that process. With the resources that Waterco can provide and new possible markets that may become available, including export markets, Autopool should only grow and prosper.”
Note: The acquisition of AutoPool is not connected with Sherwood Overseas Co Pty Ltd, who continues to manufacture Kreepy Krauly in Osborne Park WA.
Image: Some of the Kreepy Krauly range distributed by AutoPool