Pleatco Acquires Two Filtration Companies

Pleatco, LLC, manufacturer of cartridge filters for the pool and spa industry (an Align Capital Partners portfolio company) announced the closure of the acquisition of APEL International filtration, manufacturer of pleated filter cartridges, pleated bags, and other filtration products for mission-critical industrial air applications, and Milton MPF Engineered Filters, producer of industrial air filtration products located in Milton, Ontario, Canada. APEL will be merged with Milton to create a single industrial air filtration division and will be consolidated under the master brand of Pleatco Filtration in 2019.

“For the past thirteen years we have grown the Pleatco brand and business to be the industry leader in the pool and spa industry and it is with great excitement that we announce these acquisitions that expand our business into the industrial air filtration space,” says Howard Smith, vice chairman of Pleatco Filtration. “This is a significant strategic milestone that dramatically accelerates our growth plans. By consolidating our combined resources and intellectual property we are able to leverage our operations to become a significant driving force in the filtration space, leading through science and innovation.”

Coinciding with the acquisitions, Smith became vice chairman and Rick Von Drehle joined Pleatco Filtration as CEO. “The acquisitions of APEL and Milton are core to our strategy at Pleatco Filtration — to build a diversified, aftermarket focused filtration products company with an unwavering commitment to science and innovation,” says Rob Langley, managing partner for Align Capital Partners. “Rick has been on the board at Pleatco since we became a key shareholder in Pleatco in 2017. He has a great track-record of building and growing filtration businesses and we look forward to working with Rick and the broader Pleatco team to execute our organic growth initiatives and to further build the Pleatco Filtration platform through acquisitions.”

“I’m excited to continue our legacy as a high-quality manufacturer with industry-best lead times under the Pleatco Filtration brand and platform,” says Paul LaCroix, founder of APEL.

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“The commitment to product quality, customer service and innovation were key to my decision to partner with Pleatco,” says Dave Brunner, president of Milton.

Pleatco Filtration will optimize production and consolidate operations across all facilities with manufacturing in New York, Mexicali, Louisville and Ontario, and a distribution center in Calexico. In the immediate, APEL and Milton will continue to operate under their current brands so the companies can align systems, processes and staff for the goal of operating under one banner.

“The strength that merging these three key industry players brings a significant new force to the filtration space,” Von Drehle says. “All three companies have built a great reputation for quality, service and innovation, and the consolidation under the Pleatco Filtration brand provides us with a tremendous competitive advantage to leverage the company to the highest level across both air and water filtration industries.”