Ecolab, the St. Paul-based global provider of water, hygiene and energy products and services, has acquired training solutions company Lobster Ink. The deal enables Ecolab to better inform its customers on best practices and how to optimally use Ecolab devices and systems.
Based in Geneva, Switzerland, Lobster Ink is a privately held software-as-a-service business that focuses on applied learning science, training content curation, and learning experiences. The software is used by hospitality and foodservice companies across 130 countries, with $24 million in sales generated in 2018.
Ecolab COO Tom Handley says the acquisition addresses customers’ growing need for proper training – which he says is a cornerstone of Ecolab’s business model.
“This acquisition strengthens the training opportunities and learning experiences we offer,” says Handley. “It is an example of our continued investment in innovations to solve customer challenges through science, service, digital-driven training, and solutions.”
Learning content newly available through Lobster Ink’s software will be accessible via any connected handheld device, and will include insight on proper hygiene, food safety procedures, and more.
The Lobster Ink deal comes just days after Ecolab announced it was spinning off its Upstream Energy business into a stand-alone publicly-traded company. Comprised of an oil field chemicals production division and the WellChem drilling and well completion chemistry division, Upstream Energy generated $2.4 billion in sales in 2018.
The recent moves by Ecolab have kicked off a year that company CEO and chairman Douglas Baker Jr. says has a favorable outlook. He says Ecolab is in “a great position with strong sales volume, accelerating pricing and improving operating income margins.”
Ecolab employs 48,000, serves customers across 170 countries, and generates $14 billion in annual sales. While the spinoff is expected to save the company $200 million, it was not noted how either the spinoff or Lobster Ink acquisition will impact Ecolab’s workforce.
Financial terms of the Lobster Ink acquisition were also not disclosed.