Franklin Electric Co., Inc. has reached agreement to acquire controlling interests in three distributors in the U.S. professional groundwater market. Franklin acquired the following wholesalers for approximately $89 million, which includes assumed debt:
“The specialized groundwater distribution channel in the U.S. through which we sell our products is an important element in the ultimate sale, support and specification to the installing contractors,” said Gregg Sengstack, Franklin’s chairman and CEO. “Working in partnership with our distributors, Franklin Electric has developed a broad array of products and systems solutions that will only grow as regulatory and efficiency demands increase in North America.”
Over the last several years, Franklin has worked closely with the management of these three companies and the leadership of other strategic distribution partners.
“These relationships have provided us with insight into and appreciation for the value proposition offered by water systems distribution,” Sengstack added. “Our new distribution entity, with a national footprint of 60 locations and nearly 500 employees, will be the largest in the industry.”
The acquired distributors will operate as the Headwater Companies, LLC. DeLancey W. Davis, a 25-year industry veteran including the last 11 as an executive officer of Franklin, was named as president.
“By forward integrating into distribution in the U.S., Franklin Electric is taking a logical next step in our evolution as a groundwater pumping systems company,” Sengstack added. “This action places Franklin Electric shoulder to shoulder with the key decision makers in this end market – distributors and the installing contractors. The Headwater companies will continue to operate as full line wholesale distributors with a focus on total water systems support, including products from all industry manufacturers. Headwater will maintain a laser focus on supporting the professional installing contractor.”