Rhône Enters Agreement o Acquire Zodiac from Carlyle Group (CG)

October 25, 2016 8:21 AM EDT

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The Carlyle Group has accepted an offer from investment funds affiliated with Rhône to acquire Zodiac Pool Solutions SAS and its global residential pool and spa business, including its family of premium brands and all 1,300 employees worldwide, the companies announced today. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The transaction, subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to close promptly.

With its global headquarters in Paris, France and operational headquarters in Vista, Calif., Zodiac is a global manufacturer of premium residential pool equipment and automation solutions. 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.

Rhône, established in 1996, 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 has offices in London and New York and currently holds investments in a diversified portfolio of companies, including investments in the business services, chemicals, consumer products, industrial products, food, packaging, specialty materials and transportation sectors.

Zodiac has established itself as one of the global pool and spa industry's major players. 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. This focus positioned Zodiac well during the pool construction market's recovery.

Recent strategic acquisitions by Zodiac include SAVI, a U.S. pool and spa lighting company, in 2014; Pool Resources, an Australian distributer of pool chemicals; Two10, a South African producer of pool chemicals; MagnaPool, an Australian company specializing in pool mineral water systems; and SET, a German company specializing in heating systems for swimming pools. Pool Resources, Two10, Magnapool and SET were acquired in 2013. Additionally, Cover-Pools, a U.S. 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.

"Based on our strong financial performance and growth over the past three years, culminating in a record year in 2016, the timing was right for new investment from a new partner," said Bruce Brooks, Zodiac's CEO since 2011. "We are proud of our company's achievements working with Carlyle, and we are excited about building on our accomplishments with Rhône. 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."



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