Blackford’s Aqua-Leisure Adds INYO Pool

Blackford’s Aqua-Leisure Adds INYO Pool

Buy of INYO Pool Products is the second add-on acquisition for Aqua-Leisure since being acquired by Blackford in January 2021

INYO Pool is a direct-to-consumer seller of swimming pool supplies, repair and maintenance products including pumps, filters, heaters, lighting, salt systems, and cleaners

SOURCE: Getty Images

Aqua-Leisure Recreation, a portfolio company of Blackford Capital, has acquired INYO Pool Products.

INYO Pool is a direct-to-consumer seller of swimming pool supplies, repair and maintenance products including pumps, filters, heaters, lighting, motors, chemicals, salt systems, replacement parts, cleaners, covers, and cartridges.

INYO Pool also provides do-it-yourself pool repair and maintenance videos through its YouTube channel that had more than 21 million views in 2021. INYO Pools (named after the Inyo National Forest located in California) was founded in 2001 and is headquartered near Orlando in Longwood, Florida.

Aqua-Leisure Recreation designs, develops and manufactures aquatic products and pool accessories under a variety of brand names including Aqua Pro, Aqua, Aqua Fitness, Dolfino, SwimSchool, Airhead, Sportsstuff and Yukon Charlies.

The company, led by CEO Steve Berenson, was founded in 1970 and is headquartered in Avon, Massachusetts.

“We welcome the INYO team to Aqua-Leisure and believe we will have significant synergies with the INYO family of brands,” said Mr. Berenson. “By applying our significant global sourcing efficiencies to INYO, we expect an accelerated level of margins and value creation.”

The buy of INYO is the second add-on acquisition for Aqua-Leisure since Blackford Capital acquired the company in January 2021 and follows the add-on acquisition of Airhead Sports Group, a Denver-based a designer, distributor and supplier of branded recreational water sports and winter sports products including towable tubes, tow ropes, life jackets, pool floats and loungers, snowshoes, trekking poles, and snow sleds.

“Having just passed the first 100 days since we acquired Airhead, the #1 brand in the marine towable watersports and winter leisure products, we are pleased at how well the integration process has gone,” added Mr. Berenson. “We’ve seen tremendous success across our management, product, finance, sales, operations and sourcing teams and anticipate similar results with our consolidation of INYO into the Aqua Leisure family.”

“The anticipated synergies from the recent acquisition of Airhead have quickly come to fruition for the combined Aqua-Airhead team, with enhanced scale, brand value and e-commerce offerings,” said Martin Stein, founder and managing director of Blackford Capital. “Now, with the addition of INYO Pool Products, Aqua-Leisure gains an expanded product portfolio, enhanced channel expansion capability, platform cross-selling opportunities and increased sourcing efficiencies.”

With the close of the transaction, CEO John Paroline will become the president and general manager of INYO Pool and INYO co-founder Patrick Paroline will continue with the company as its director of strategy and new products.

“It has been a wonderful adventure to work alongside my brother Patrick and best friend for the past 15 years, building INYO into the preferred brand for do-it-yourself swimming pool repair and maintenance,” said John Paroline. “As part of the Aqua-Leisure portfolio of brands I know we will continue to grow, reaching new customers through new channels while capitalizing on sourcing and distribution synergies that will allow us to continue providing our users with the knowledge, products and empowerment they need to get the most out of their swimming pools.”

Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Blackford Capital invests in founder- and family-owned, lower middle-market manufacturing, industrial and distribution companies. Target companies typically have revenues of $20 million to $100 million and EBITDAs of $2 million to $20 million.

Key Bank provided debt financing and Muzinich & Co. and Capital Dynamics provided debt and equity financing to back the buy of INYO Pool by Aqua-Leisure. Orchard MB was the financial advisor to INYO Pool and Grant Thornton advised Blackford Capital.

© 2022 Private Equity Professional | April 7, 2022

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