S.R.Smith Acquires Pool Energy Saving Product Operations in U.S. and Australia
Sunbather and T-Star Enterprises products complement S.R.Smith current offerings
Canby, Oregon – November 15, 2019 – S.R.Smith, LLC, a leading manufacturer of swimming pool deck equipment, lighting and access products, headquartered in Canby, Oregon, today announced the acquisition of Sunbather Pty Ltd of Melbourne, Australia. Sunbather is a leading manufacturer of pool energy saving solutions for residential and commercial facilities. The company’s portfolio includes solar pool heating panels and accessories, thermal covers and rollers, automatic security covers, hidden pool covers, heat pumps and gas heaters. As part of the purchase of Sunbather, S.R.Smith also acquired a 50% ownership stake in Aspire Energy Australia, a manufacturer of rigid solar panels.
Sunbather, founded in 1974, was a pioneer in the solar pool heating industry in Australia. The company expanded into thermal covers and security covers over the years to become one of the largest suppliers of pool covers in Australia. Tom Boadle, CEO of Sunbather, will remain with the company as General Manager and COO of Sunbather. “We are excited to become part of S.R.Smith and look forward to continuing to grow our Australian and international business,” said Boadle.
Solar heating solutions and thermal pool covers reduce pool operating costs by not only saving energy but decreasing costs associated with evaporation of water and chemicals. They also enable individuals and facilities to extend the swimming season. “As customers look for ways to lower costs and increase pool utilization, we believe these products represent a growth category, “ said Richard Laitta, President and CEO of S.R.Smith. “By utilizing our existing relationships in Australia and the U.S., we see an opportunity to expand the market by educating pool owners and operators.”
The Sunbather manufacturing operations will continue to be run out of the Melbourne office under the leadership of Tom Boadle and operate independently from Brisbane based S.R.Smith Australia led by Keith Hall. S.R.Smith also announced it has acquired T-Star Enterprises of Oakland, California, USA. T-Star is a leading manufacturer of custom thermal pool covers for commercial pools. The T-Star operations will relocate to the S.R.Smith headquarters location in Canby, Oregon during Q1 2020.
S.R.Smith has been in business since 1932 when Samuel Robert Smith originally made diving boards out of Oregon’s Douglas fir timber. The company has continued to grow through product innovation, geographic expansion and acquisitions. The company is a leading manufacturer of residential and commercial pool deck equipment with facilities in Canby, Oregon; Portland, Tennessee; Memphis, Tennessee; Tucson, Arizona; and Brisbane, Australia. Several hundred employees are now working for the S.R. Smith family of businesses to provide a broad array of high quality products to customers, as well as exciting growth opportunities for employees.