Last summer Jacuzzi Brands announced its acquisition of Ontario Canada based Hydropool Hot Tubs and Swim Spas. An interesting but expected move on behalf of Jacuzzi Brands who has been lacking a swim spa product line as the niche has flourished over the last 10 years. Plays like this are somewhat predictable in the hot tub industry especially as it relates to the larger players like Jacuzzi. Similarly back in 2015 Hotspring Spas (Vista, CA) acquired Endless Pool which was one of the largest and most well-known swim spa brands in the industry. These larger, publicly held conglomerates apply a different strategy when it comes to growth than most traditional scrappy hot tub manufacturers. They typically sit back and watch trends come and go in the industry and if one happens to stick around then they look to acquire the biggest and best rather than organically build out their own programs. In Jacuzzi’s case the acquisition of Hydropool seemed to most industry insiders as a no-brainer because many of the existing Jacuzzi dealers around the country already carried Hydropool Swim Spas in order to have a swim spa offering. Therefore, acquiring Hydropool made a lot of sense as a bulk of Jacuzzi’s dealers already embraced the program, believed in the product, and had been having a great deal of success.
It is also important to note that both Jacuzzi Brands and Watkins Wellness (parent of Hotspring Spas) have had a history of acquisitions over the years. Whether it was for the purpose of saturation with one brand and wanting a second dominant brand to have in existing markets or adding an innovative new product line with high growth (swim spas) it all comes down to strategic growth. Here are some of the most noteworthy deals and reasons for acquisition;
Jacuzzi Brands Acquisitions:
• 1998 Sundance Spas – gave Jacuzzi another dominant brand to put in markets where they had already saturated with the Jacuzzi brand
• 2012 Thermospas – gave Jacuzzi a direct to consumer brand and marketing approach versus traditional dealer network
• 2013 Dimension One Spas – similar to the Sundance acquisition it gave Jacuzzi another brand to put in markets already saturated with Jacuzzi and Sundance dealers.
• 2017 Hydropool Hot Tubs and Swim Spas – gave Jacuzzi a turnkey and already successful swim spa program
Watkins Wellness (Hotspring Spas) Acquisitions:
• 1999 Caldera Spas – gave Watkins another dominant brand to put in markets where they had already saturated with the Hotspring brand
• 2011 Freeflow Spas (formerly American Hydrotherapy Systems) – gave Watkins an entry level offering with $3000-$5000 price points which didn’t exist in their lineup. Also many of the Hotspring dealers were already carrying Freeflow prior to the acquisition to fill the price gaps in the Hotsrping line making it a well-received decision.
• 2015 Endless Pools Swim Spas – provided Watkins Wellness with a successful turnkey swim spa program
For more information and insight into the best hot tub brands and what to look for when buying a hot tub then please visit our buyer’s guide pages.