Zodiac’s owners, the Carlyle Group, announced on October 25 (US Pacific Time) that they had accepted the offer from investment funds affiliated with Rhône to acquire Zodiac and its global residential pool and spa business, including its family of premium brands and all 1300 employees worldwide.
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The transaction, subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to close promptly.
Zodiac APAC marketing manager Jonas Ryberg says it will be business as usual at the Australasian operation.
“The new ownership will not impact our strategy or any of our current key initiatives,” he says. “We will continue to roll out the most innovative consumer friendly products supported by the most extensive sales and after-sales network in the market.
Zodiac is one of the largest global manufacturers of residential pool equipment. The company is headquartered in Paris, but its operational headquarters is in Vista, California. The acquisition will include the Zodiac leadership team and its high‐profile brand portfolio including Zodiac Pool, Jandy Pro Series, Polaris, iAquaLink, Cover‐Pools, MagnaPool, Caretaker, SAVI and Nature2.
Privately held venture capital and private equity firm Rhône was established in 1996. It is a global asset management firm with a focus on investments in market leading businesses with a pan-European or transatlantic presence and expansion prospects. Rhône is headquartered in New York and also has offices in London. It currently holds investments in a diversified portfolio of companies including business services, chemicals, consumer products, industrial products, food, packaging, specialty materials and transportation sectors.
Over the past three years, Zodiac has grown its premium brands through a strategic focus on its core global in-ground residential swimming pool business and an emphasis on customer-driven technological innovation across its product portfolio.
Recent Australian strategic acquisitions by Zodiac include pool mineral water system manufacturer MagnaPool and pool chemical distributor Pool Resources in 2013.
Other acquisitions include SAVI, a US pool and spa lighting company in 2014; and Two10, a South African producer of pool chemicals, and SET, a German company specialising in heating systems for swimming pools in 2013. Cover-Pools, a US manufacturer of automated pool covers, was acquired in 2008.
The Carlyle Group acquired Jandy in 2006 and Zodiac in 2007. The Zodiac brand was first registered in 1909.
Bruce Brooks, Zodiac’s CEO since 2011, says that the timing was right for new investment, based on their strong financial performance and growth over the past three years, culminating in a record year in 2016.
“We are proud of our company’s achievements working with Carlyle, and we are excited about building on our accomplishments with Rhône,” he says.
“Rhône is great partner for Zodiac, and this is excellent news for our employees, customers, vendors and the pool and spa industry. We look forward to building on Zodiac’s heritage of excellence to drive ever greater technological innovation and quality as we work to grow Zodiac’s market share across all of its premium brands.”