Bradford White buys Laars

Bradford White buys Laars AMBLER, PA. As part of a strategic plan that includes diversification within the industry, Bradford White Corp. announced June 7 the signing of an agreement to purchase the Laars Heating Systems business from Water Pik Technologies. Closing was scheduled for June 30. The transaction is valued at $24.3 million, according to Water Pik Technologies. "The acquisition is one in

Bradford White buys Laars

AMBLER, PA. — As part of a strategic plan that includes diversification within the industry, Bradford White Corp. announced June 7 the signing of an agreement to purchase the Laars Heating Systems business from Water Pik Technologies. Closing was scheduled for June 30.

The transaction is valued at $24.3 million, according to Water Pik Technologies.

"The acquisition is one in a series of focused moves we have made in recent years to continue growth and expand our appeal to the plumbing and HVAC industry," said A. Robert Carnevale, president and chief executive officer of Bradford White Corp.

He added that Laars Heating Systems Co. would become a wholly owned subsidiary of Bradford White.

" We are pleased that we have been able to reach this mutually beneficial agreement with Bradford White," said Water Pik Technologies' Chief Executive Officer Michael P. Hoopis. "The divestiture of our Heating Systems business will allow us to further focus our resources on our two remaining business segments."

Water Pik Technologies makes personal health care and swimming pool products.

As announced in January, the Water Pik board of directors is continuing its review of strategic alternatives for the company. Water Pik said the divestiture would not have a material effect on its operating income.

"The addition of the Laars Heating Systems' extensive line of technologically advanced products, its personnel,-and manufacturing and distribution-capabilities are key additions to the Bradford White family," Carnevale said.

A spokesman for Laars and Bradford White noted that the companies could not comment further about the acquisition until after it closes because Water Pik Technologies is a publicly trade company and subject to Securities and Exchange Commission rules.

The acquisition includes a manufacturing facility in Rochester, N.H., and a distribution center in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. Bradford White will open a new Laars Heating Systems sales office and distribution center in the Simi Valley area of California.

In recent years, Bradford White added two companies that brought new technologies and offerings to its expanding product line — Niles Steel Tank Co., a manufacturer of large storage vessels, in Niles, Mich., and Aero Environmental Ltd., a manufacturer of oil-powered water heaters and power burners, n Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.

"Both have become important success stories for Bradford White and have benefited as a result of joining the Bradford White family," Carnevale said. "Each has added employees and increased their manufacturing capabilities significantly."

In the case of Niles Steel Tank, a new, much larger facility was purchased for the current operation and to ensure space for future expansion.

Bradford White manufactures residential, commercial and industrial products for water heating, space heating, combination heating and storage applications.

Laars makes residential gas and oil boilers and combination space heating/water heating appliances. On the commercial side, the line includes modulating and low-NOx boilers, volume water heating products and commercial swimming pool heaters.