In an effort to expand its global business, St. Paul-based Ecolab has made a deal to acquire U.K.-based hygiene and cleaning products supplier Holchem Group Limited.
Ecolab, a global provider of water, hygiene and energy technologies and services, will absorb Holchem with an eye to better serving the food and beverage industry in Ireland, the U.K. and elsewhere in Europe.
“Holchem’s strong technical capabilities and service model align well with Ecolab’s commitment to helping customers uphold stringent food safety standards,” said Sam de Boo, Ecolab’s senior vice president and general manager for its food and beverage unit and Europe Ecolab company Nalco Water, in prepared remarks. “We look forward to combining our teams.”
Ecolab generated just under $14 billion in annual sales in its fiscal 2017 year with 48,400 employees on the payroll. Over the same stretch of time, Holchem, which currently operates in the U.K. and Ireland, reported about $56 million in sales.
The announcement of Ecolab’s Holchem acquisition comes the same day as the Ecolab Foundation announced a $5 million gift to the University of Minnesota—the company's largest single donation to the University—for the "Driven" campaign, a University intiative dedicated to sustainability research and education. The Foundation committed $2 million of the total toward establishing an endowed chair for the Institute on the Environment.
Amid these investments, the Holchem deal also comes just days after Ecolab made public that it has submitted an offer to acquire another English company, Bioquell PLC. Bioquell is a provider of hydrogen peroxide vapor bio-decontamination systems and services. Last year, the company took in sales of about $37 million from the customers it serves in more than 50 countries.
Additionally, early in 2018, Ecolab made a deal for New York-based water treatment company Cascade Water Services.
The acquisition of Holchem is expected to close in early 2019, as should the Bioquell deal if their offer is accepted, Ecolab said. The Bioquell acquisition must still be approved by Bioquell’s board, while the Holchem deal just needs to clear a final hurdle: approval by the Competition and Markets Authority.
Regarding Holchem, both companies will continue to operate separately until the acquisition is finalized.
No additional details were disclosed for either transaction.