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March 7, 2011
American Water Intelligence: Aqua-Chem rides the magic enviro solutions carpet

Its acquisition of Enviro-Solutions may give Aqua-Chem the keys to the kingdom in water clean-up for Southeast carpet mills.

On February 10, Knoxville, TN-based Aqua-Chem, a water technology company, announced the acquisition of Enviro-Solutions, an industrial water treatment chemicals and equipment company, as part of their strategy to broaden their offerings in the industrial water and wastewater markets.

Aqua-Chem specializes in land-based and offshore reverse osmosis and evaporation technologies for the energy, pharmaceutical and beverage markets.

David Gensterblum, CEO and president of Aqua-Chem, describes the acquisition as part of an aggressive growth strategy and expects to move into the offshore oil sector for additional acquisitions.

“I think we’ll probably double the size of the company in the next three years,” said Gensterblum. “We’ve got the most vast water purification technology for our markets right now in North America that can pretty much cover the gamut on technology from RO to thermal going forward. We are poised for a good run.”

The deal was backed by Altus Capital Partners, a private equity investment firm, but terms were not disclosed. Enviro Solutions is fairly small, with approximately 10 employees and $5 million in revenue for 2010.

Russell Greenberg, managing director of Altus, said that the acquisition will be a big boon to Aqua-Chem.

“Enviro-Solutions has a key technology that will reduce the cost of water clean up to the carpet mills in the southeast,” Greenberg said. “Typically these facilities discharge spent water into storm sewers with little or no treatment, Gensterblum explained to AWI. With the technology the two companies developed, using reverse osmosis to abstract back constituents, dyes used in the carpet manufacturing process are removed, producing potable quality water. Using this technology, approximately 85 percent of a plant’s water can be reused.”

David Gensterblum reflected on the evolution of the partnership, saying Enviro-Solutions “had the relationship with the textile firms and we had the solution and the technology and the wherewithal to put this together.”

This acquisition builds on those of the last three years. Aqua- Chem acquired Specific Equipment Company, a seawater reverse osmosis (RO) systems provider for industrial and offshore applications in 2009 and Matrix, which focuses on landbased RO, in 2008.

Laura Brophy
Director of Client Services and New Business Development
Marketcom PR

Direct: 203-331-7618
Main: 212-537-5177, Ext 2

Laura Brophy
Director of Client Services and New Business Development