Landmark Aquatic, the firm formed by a merger last year, made its first acquisition in a bid to become a national player.

In October 2023, two well-established companies joined to create Landmark. St. Louis-based Westport Pools brought its Midwest service area, primarily Missouri, Kansas and Illinois. Houston-based Progressive Commercial Aquatics brought in the west, with offices in Denver, Austin and Houston.

Landmark now has acquired Indianapolis-based Spear Corp., whose service area primarily includes Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio.

Like Westport and Progressive, Spear was founded approximately 40 years ago and is managed by its second generation of ownership. All three firms provided design, construction, renovation, and maintenance services. All will continue to operate under their existing brands in the foreseeable future, retaining current management and staff.

J. Ryan Casserly, previously the sole shareholder of Westport, serves as Landmark’s CEO. Russell Leto, president/CEO of Progressive, also is president of Landmark.

The Spear acquisition comes as Landmark strives to become perhaps the only commercial pool and aquatics construction firm with its own crews that holds locations across the country, if not necessarily in every state.

Expansion in the middle of the country makes sense, as so much commercial construction takes place there, Casserly said, however, geography takes a backseat to company fit in its acquisition decisions.

Casserly said Westport Pools began to think about consolidation about two years ago. “There was limited M&A activity in the commercial space, and we figured it’s a matter of time before somebody does that. So why not us?”

Such a firm could fill the needs of developers and other organizations that build across regions and would rather partner with the same contractor on various projects when possible.

It gained a private-equity partner in Denver-based Bow River Capital, then approached Progressive about a potential merger, believing the company a good fit.

Casserly said the company plans to grow organically, as well as through acquisition.

He said it plans to keep employees of each location, and has been hiring new personnel.

“We need more people, not less,” he said.

While he couldn’t share too many details, Casserly said he expects more acquisitions in the next 12 to 18 months, and that the company especially plans to ramp up its service and renovation teams through organic growth.

But he hesitates to characterize the company as seeking national status. “We are the first super regional, end-to-end self-performing commercial aquatics firm in the country,” he said. “As far as ‘national,’ we’ll see where it takes us.”