Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Haviland Pool and Spa Products has acquired North Bend, Ohio-Baleco International.
“We are thrilled to welcome Baleco into the Haviland family,” says Art Harre, Haviland chief sales officer. “Their facility, their location and capabilities are a great fit for us, but their people and the way they respond to customers was the key. We want them do what they’ve done successfully for almost 60 years — service the customer.”
Baleco International offers a variety of pool water treatment products, including Aquamate. It began as Cincinnati Soap Center in 1958 before adding pool chemistry in 1962. In 1979 it moved to its current 100,000 square foot North Bend, Ohio, facility.
“We’re looking at this as a partnership.” said Art. “They have really strong brands and their pool accessory line is a great compliment to our pool hose products.”
Haviland is an employee-owned ESOP, celebrating its 20th anniversary of employee ownership in 2017. The company was founded in 1934.
“As a family-owned company, we were looking to do what’s best for the next generation,” says Jeff Hammersmith, son of Baleco’s founder, Lee Hammersmith. “The Haviland family had the same decision some years ago and they decided to become employee-owned (ESOP). We’re happy to be able to add our employees into their retirement program like that. This is a great fit for our people and for our business. Haviland is looking at customer first, and that’s always been our focus.”