Media Releases

Rhone cleared to acquire swimming pool equipment company Fluidra

21 March 2018

The Commerce Commission has granted clearance for Rhone to acquire Fluidra.

Both businesses supply residential swimming pool equipment in New Zealand, with Rhone selling under the brand name Zodiac.

Rhone sought clearance from a number of regulators in different countries including New Zealand as part of a proposed global merger.

In reaching its decision, the Commission considered the impact on New Zealand markets for the supply of residential swimming pool filters, pumps, heating equipment, automatic chlorinators, cleaning equipment, water features, and automation controllers.

Commission Chairman Dr Mark Berry said the Commission is satisfied the acquisition is unlikely to substantially lessen competition in New Zealand markets.

“We are satisfied that the merged entity would continue to face sufficient competition from other suppliers of swimming pool equipment,” Dr Berry said.

A public version of the written reasons for the decision will be available on the Clearances Register in due course.

Background

Rhone Capital LLC

Rhone is a New York-based private equity firm that owns a number of entities, including the Zodiac group of companies, which supply a range of swimming pool equipment globally. In New Zealand, Zodiac imports and distributes a range of equipment used in residential pools, including pumps, filters, cleaners, heating, and automation systems. It also manufactures a range of residential pool covers in Auckland.

Fluidra S.A

Fluidra is a global manufacturer of residential and commercial swimming pool equipment based in Spain. Fluidra does not have a manufacturing presence in New Zealand but supplies a range of pool equipment, primarily under the brand name AstralPool, through a New Zealand-based distributor, Aqua Clear Products Limited.

Merger requirements

When considering a proposed merger, the Commission must determine whether any competition that would be lost with the merger would be substantial. We will give clearance to a proposed merger only if we are satisfied that the merger is unlikely to have the effect of substantially lessening competition in a market. A fact sheet explaining how the Commission assesses a merger application is available on the clearances page.