S.R. Smith, manufacturer of pool deck supplies, lighting and access products, recently announced the acquisition of Inter-Fab, manufacture of in-pool furniture and deck supplies.
The deal closed on Wednesday, August 8 and includes all of Inter-Fab’s assets, except for its deck-mounted pool slides, which have been discontinued. S.R. Smith decided not to acquire the slide line, citing production and maintenance costs. Instead, the company will focus on Inter-Fab’s landscape slide line, an area S.R. Smith leadership believes is growing.
“Since S.R. Smith and Inter-Fab have significant overlap in the deck-mounted slide category, it made sense to immediately consolidate that product line and focus on the growth potential of the landscape slide business,” said Rich Laitta, President and CEO of S.R. Smith.
S.R. Smith, headquartered Canby, Ore, also will retain 125 Inter-Fab employees at the manufacturer’s Tucson, Ariz. headquarters and Memphis, Tenn. warehouse. The company plans to keep both facilities open for the foreseeable future to accommodate customer demand. With the new addition, S.R. Smith now has four manufacturing and distributing facilities in North America. Its fourth facility is located in Portland, Tenn.
Inter-Fab president Mike Hagerty said the decision to sell came as he is getting close to retirement. He has been with the company for 30 years, helping build it from a startup to the business it is today.
“I determined within the past year that this is a window of opportunity when selling a relatively small, profitable and successful business makes sense,” Hagerty said. “The capital markets are right for such an opportunity. That, coupled with the fact that I’m approaching retirement age, influenced my decision to sell.”
There are no plans to discontinue similar products or rebrand products as of yet. For the time being, Inter-Fab products will retain their brand, Laitta said. However, the manufacturer may consolidate product portfolios as it observes customer behavior.
“We are going to let customers decide which product they want to purchase,” Laitta said.
Inter-Fab customers can continue to buy the manufacturer’s catalog of products, except deck-mounted slides, through their normal channels.
A small business formed by Hagerty and run by a few former Inter-Fab employees, will serve the needs of customers with existing deck-mounted slides. Those with questions about the discontinued slides can contact www.ifideckslidewarranty.com for warranty, customer service, parts and accessories for the Adrenaline, City 2, G-Force 2, White Water, Wild Ride, XStream 2 and Zoomerang slides.
To ensure a smooth transition, Hagerty said he will remain involved as a consultant for S.R. Smith under a contract for about six to nine months. When asked why he selected S.R. Smith as the buyer, Hagerty said there’s a lot of synergy between the companies.
“I believe the culture of Inter-Fab will blend in with S. R. Smith, and together the company will innovate, grow and prosper for the good of the industry,” he explained.
S.R. Smith was founded as a family business in 1932 by Samuel Robert Smith, who originally made diving boards out of Oregon’s Douglas fir timber. Today, the company has several hundred employees, and in addition to its four North American facilities, S.R. Smith also has a location in Brisbane, Australia.
This is S.R. Smith’s fifth acquisition over the course of nine years. According to Laitta, Inter-Fab was acquired because of its focus on new product development and similar go-to-market strategy.
“We are optimistic about the future and believe the combination of S.R. Smith and Inter-Fab creates a stronger company that will bring new ideas and products to the industry,” said Laitta.