In The News: February 17, 2011

Spanish Company Buys Aqua Products

Flurida, a multinational group based in Barcelona, Spain, has acquired Aqua Products, a leading manufacturer of automatic pool cleaners, for $44 million.

Flurida purchased the Cedar Grove, N.J., company to strengthen its core water-handling and conservation business and allow it to gain a foothold in the U.S. residential swimming pool market, according to a press release.

Gil Erlich, vice president of sales and marketing for Aqua Products, said his company's customers will not be affected by the move, which takes effect in March.

"Aqua Products will retain management control of its daily sales operations," he said. "However, the financial backing of the industry's largest global entity should allow expanded opportunities for Aqua Products customers moving forward."

With the acquisition, Flurida opens a lucrative new channel for its own products and strengthens the company's presence in the international market.

"The relationship is still very new and I am unsure as to what specific decisions will be agreed upon," Erlich explained when asked what products Flurida might bring to the United States. "However, we are excited about the possibility of someday being able to offer customers proven effective alternatives to those supplied by the current 'big three' in our industry."

Leisure Group Enters Roto Spa Manufacturing

Dreammaker Spas logoThe Leisure Group of Lakeland, Fla., and Grimsby, Ontario, recently acquired the assets used to produce rotationally molded spas from Leisure Bay Industries. As part of the agreement, the Leisure Group and Dream Maker Industries have entered into a long-term sales and marketing partnership.

In 2010, the Leisure Group and Leisure Bay Industries formed a sales alliance, with Leisure Group producing a line of acrylic spas to be marketed under the Dream Maker name.

"We are extremely excited to partner with LBI — Dream Maker is the undisputed market leader within the roto sector," said the Leisure Group's Jack Layfield. "We are committed to advancing the customer experience at every level by offering the finest-quality acrylic, polyethylene and roto spas."

G3 Principal Joins Indian Trade Magazine

photo of Brian Van Bower, president of Aquatic ConsultantsBrian Van Bower, president of Aquatic Consultants in Miami and a co-founder of the G3 Design Group, has been named Senior Contributing Editor of Waves, a trade magazine for India's pool and spa industry.

"I am exited to be involved with Waves magazine to share information, technology and design ideas on an international level," Van Bower said. I am looking forward to meeting and working with the Indian water environment industry and welcome the opportunity to exchange ideas that may help to shape the projects of the future in this growing and exciting market."

CNA Expands Insurance Options

CNA, a Chicago-based property and casualty insurance provider for business nationwide, recently announced the expansion of its Spa & Pool Contractors Program (SPLASH) into the Middle Market segment in Texas.

"Since 2007, CNA has been providing comprehensive SPLASH coverages to this unique industry," said Jason Oswald, SPLASH program director. "Now, spa and swimming pool companies in Texas have access to our industry-leading product, as well as our claim and risk control expertise."

At CNA, the Middle Market is ordinarily defined by payroll, Oswald explains.

"For example, if you had a payroll of $100,000 and two employees in Florida, you would be considered a small business," he adds. "Now, in Texas, that would be considered Middle Market and therefore that company could take advantage more-specialized underwriting."

The company also recently earned the endorsement of the Northeast Spa & Pool Association for its work in customizing risk-control programs that address the needs of association members.

To learn more, visit www.cna.com or call an independent insurance agent.

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