GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. – Pentair, Inc. (NYSE: PNR) has entered into an agreement to acquire WICOR Industries, the parent company of marine manufacturer SHURflo and a unit of Wisconsin Energy Corp. (NYSE: WEC).
WICOR, which manufactures water system, filtration, and pool equipment products under the Sta-Rite, SHURflo, and Hypro brands, is expected to generate sales of approximately $750 million in 2003 and employs 3,500 people in 24 locations worldwide, according to a recent statement from Pentair.
Tony Barber, vice president and general manager of the RV/marine products division of SHURflo, doesn’t expect the acquisition to have an effect on the company’s day-to-day business.
However, he said in an interview in late February that the new parent company is a better fit for SHURflo because of its expertise in pumps and manufacturing.
Pentair has “skill sets to help us in our operational capabilities, broadening our pump technologies and adding strength in filtration,” he explained.
“The WICOR acquisition will transform Pentair into a diversified company defined largely by a $2 billion water technologies business,” said Pentair Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Randall J. Hogan. “This transaction will allow us to accelerate Pentair’s growth through the more rapid creation of innovative products and systems, and capture cost savings and other synergies, thereby adding value for our customers and shareholders.”
According to Richard J. Cathcart, president and chief operating officer of Pentair’s Water Technologies Group, “This transaction represents a giant step toward our goal of satisfying the global need for safe, clean water. We expect to combine Pentair’s proven operating disciplines with WICOR’s strong customer orientation to enhance sales relationships with our customers, build our collective brands, grow our technology, accelerate the development of innovative products, expand our global footprint, and deliver superior products and service to our customers.
Pentair has acquisition experience
Pentair said it has a solid record of success in managing the integration of acquired water businesses. In 2002, Pentair acquired the Plymouth Products water filtration equipment business from USFilter. In the first year of ownership by Pentair, Plymouth Product’s profits improved 17 percent, while EBIT margins gained 150 basis points.
“Pentair has made 11 acquisitions in the Water Technologies arena since 1995, and each has increased sales, captured synergies, and contributed to Pentair’s earnings within the first 12 months of ownership. We expect to generate similar results with the integration of WICOR,” Cathcart said. “We have a rigorous integration planning process underway with a fully staffed integration planning office and more than a dozen teams for our business units and functional business support. We expect to save more than $30 million in the first full year of ownership, primarily through sourcing, supply chain, and manufacturing synergies.”
Pentair’s Water Technologies Group manufactures water and wastewater pumps for water systems; filters, control valves, tanks, and pressure vessels for filtration systems; and pool and spa equipment, with $1.06 billion in sales in 2003. The group’s brand names include: Myers, Hydromatic, Aurora, and Fairbanks Morse pumps; Fleck and SIATA water conditioning valves; WellMate and Structural tanks; Plymouth Products, American Plumber, Pentek, and Everpure filtration products; National Pool Tile, Rainbow Lifegard, Kreepy Krauly, Letro Products, and Pentair Pool Products.
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