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Filtration Industry Mergers & Acquisitions Review 2008

Despite the tight credit markets and challenging global economy, 2008 saw further consolidation within the filtration and separation sector. Listed below are the mergers and acquisitions that took place during 2008.

First quarter 2008

Freudenberg Nonwovens

Freudenberg Nonwovens acquired Milan, Italy-based Spasciani Air Filter SpA, a manufacturer of filters for general heating, ventilation and air conditioning and for industrial process ventilation (see Filtration Industry Analyst, February 2008).

COMMENT Freudenberg Nonwovens can now supply the European market with Viledon cassette filters from Italy.  

Ceco Environmental Corp

Ceco Environmental Corp bought Fisher-Klosterman Inc in a cash and stock transaction. Fisher-Klosterman produces cyclones, classifiers, electrostatic precipitator parts and service, air filtration equipment and scrubbers (see Filtration Industry Analyst, March 2008). The acquisition of Fisher-Klosterman includes a manufacturing facility in Shanghai, China.

COMMENT With the Chinese facility, Ceco has acquired an established platform in China. 

Donaldson Co Inc

Donaldson Co Inc acquired the assets of LMC West, a manufacturer of industrial dust collection and filtration systems (see Filtration Industry Analyst, March 2008).

COMMENT LMC West complements Donaldson’s Torit dust collection products, and adds US West Coast capacity. 

Vestergaard Frandsen

Vestergaard Frandsen acquired a majority stake in Prime Water International (formerly known as Prime Membrane Technologies NV), a 15-year old Belgian company with expertise in the development of advanced membranes for water purification products (see Filtration Industry Analyst, March 2008).

COMMENT Vestergaard Frandsen operates a Humanitarian Entrepreneurship business model, believing that business is for profit, but that profit must be for a purpose. 


Fiberweb entered preliminary discussions with Israel’s Avgol about a possible offer for the UK nonwovens fabric specialist (see Filtration Industry Analyst, February 2008). The takeover talks were later terminated.

COMMENT Avgol did not make the offer due to the global credit crisis and the difficulties in obtaining the financing on reasonable terms. 

Epure International Ltd

Epure International Ltd signed a Memorandum of Understanding to acquire Singapore-based Aqua-Tech Engineering & Supplies Pte Ltd (AT) (see Filtration Industry Analyst, March 2008). AT specializes in water treatment, offering advanced membrane technology, demineralization, compact sewage treatment systems and multi-media filtration.

COMMENT Adding expertise in upstream activities is in line with Epure’s drive to become a leading turnkey and fully integrated solutions provider in the water and wastewater treatment industry. 

Ecolab Inc

Ecolab Inc bought Ecovation Inc, a Rochester, New York area-based provider of renewable energy solutions and effluent management systems for the food and beverage manufacturing industry in the US (see Filtration Industry Analyst, March 2008).

COMMENT Ecolab agreed to pay US$210 million for Ecovation, but intended to sell US$40 million of long-term lease receivables. 

KF Invest AB

KF Invest AB acquired 75% of the Swedish environmental engineering company Läckeby Water Group (see Filtration Industry Analyst, March 2008).

COMMENT KF looks on the acquisition as an essential part of its Green Strategy. 

John Crane

John Crane expanded into filtration by acquiring Indufil BV, a Dutch manufacturer of patented filtration systems used for rotating equipment in the petrochemical and power sectors (see Filtration Industry Analyst, April 2008). Indufil will remain in the Netherlands and become the headquarters of the John Crane filtration systems business unit.

COMMENT John Crane said this was a perfect illustration of the company’s growth strategy in action as they seek to increase the scope of technology-based products associated with rotating equipment in core markets.  


Siemens bought the Singapore-based Chemitreat Group, which becomes part of Siemens Industry Solutions’ Water Technologies business unit (see Filtration Industry Analyst, April 2008). With sales of more than €25 million in 2007 and 240 employees, Chemitreat provides water treatment technologies and services in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines and China.

COMMENT According to Siemens, the acquisition is primarily about geographic expansion in South East Asia. With Chemitreat, Siemens can now bring its water treatment and service portfolio to Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines, and accelerate its entry into other countries such as India and Vietnam. 

PTF Engineering

PTF Engineering moved into water filtration with the acquisition of Stella-Meta, the specialist manufacturer of water purification units for military use (see Filtration Industry Analyst, April 2008). Stella-Meta manufactures a range of mobile water purification units, flexible water storage tanks and distribution accessories to provide safe drinking water from any source. Based in Hamble, Hampshire, UK, Stella-Meta was formerly part of ITT Industries.

COMMENT The acquisition of Stella-Meta will expand PTF Engineering’s services to include the supply/maintenance of water purification units, training and logistical support including mechanical maintenance services for the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MOD). 


GLV Inc bought all the outstanding shares of AJM Environmental Services Pty Ltd, an Australian company specializing in integrated technological solutions for industrial wastewater treatment and re-use, primarily for the food and beverage production and processing industry (see Filtration Industry Analyst, April 2008).

COMMENT GLV says that the acquisition of AJM meets the Water Treatment Group’s objective of better balancing its revenues between the municipal and industrial segments. 


Porvair expanded its aerospace filtration activities by acquiring Toolturn Engineering Ltd, a specialist engineering firm based in Fareham, Hampshire, UK (see Filtration Industry Analyst, May 2008).

COMMENT Toolturn is a key supplier to Porvair’s Microfiltrex subsidiary, and the acquisition is part of Porvair’s strategy to support growth in demand for its aviation filtration products. Porvair will pay £1 million for Toolturn, spread over three years. 

H2O Innovation

The US subsidiary of Canada’s H2O Innovation Inc acquired Monterey, Virginia-based Wastewater Technology Inc (WTI) from its founder, Donald Ricketts, for US$2.6 million (see Filtration Industry Analyst, May 2008). WTI designs, manufactures and assembles wastewater treatment systems and units using patented bioreactors, activated sludge (Bio-Wheel) and MBR (Bio-Brane) technologies.

COMMENT WTI gives H2O access to new business opportunities in North America for wastewater purification, adding a project list of 70 wastewater treatment systems installed throughout the US, Eastern Europe and China. 


Nederman acquired fellow Swedish company Arboga-Darenth, a manufacturer of products and systems for coolant cleaning, swarf processing and the conveying of metal chips, including coolant filtration and oil/water separation systems (see Filtration Industry Analyst, May 2008). Headquartered in Arboga and with around 45 employees, Arboga-Darenth has production units in Sweden and the UK.

COMMENT This acquisition is in line with Nederman’s strategy of growth within existing customer segments. 

Peerless Mfg Co

Peerless Mfg Co acquired Nitram Energy Inc for US$65 million in cash (see Filtration Industry Analyst, May 2008). The privately-owned Nitram is the parent company of Burgess-Manning Inc, Bos-Hatten Inc and Alco Products. Burgess-Manning manufactures custom- designed gas/liquid and gas/solid separators, pulsation dampeners and silencers.

COMMENT Combining Nitram with Peerless, will expand Peerless’s product offerings and customer base, engineering and manufacturing resources, and their ability to serve global markets.  

Second quarter 2008 

Berkshire Hathaway Inc

Warren Buffet’s investment conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway Inc acquired 60% of privately-held Marmon Holdings Inc in a US$4.5 billion deal (see Filtration Industry Analyst, January and May 2008). Marmon Group’s Water Treatment sector supplies water treatment and filtration products and systems to residential and industrial customers, and includes EcoWater Systems, KX Technologies, Graver Technologies and Ecodyne.

COMMENT The remaining 40% of Marmon that is currently owned by Pritzker family trusts will be acquired by Berkshire Hathaway over the next 5–6 years. 

GE Healthcare

GE Healthcare completed the acquisition of Whatman plc in a cash deal valued at £363 million (see Filtration Industry Analyst, February and June 2008).

COMMENT The acquisition expands GE Healthcare’s offering for life science research and biopharmaceutical manufacturing, a key area of growth for the company.  

Clarcor Inc

Clarcor Inc acquired a 30% preferred equity stake in BioProcess Technologies Inc (BPT), a Rhode Island-based manufacturer of industrial wastewater and water reuse filtration systems (see Filtration Industry Analyst, June 2008).

COMMENT Clarcor’s investment will be used by BPT to expand its manufacturing capacity, fund working capital and develop new marketing and sales programs. 

Atlas Copco (South- East Asia) Pte Ltd

Atlas Copco (South- East Asia) Pte Ltd acquired 100% ownership of PT Fluidcon Jaya, Indonesia, and its parent company Fluidcon Service Pte Ltd, Singapore (see Filtration Industry Analyst, June 2008). Fluidcon supplies and installs fuel and oil filtration equipment, hydrocarbon management systems, customized onboard fire suppression solutions and automatic lubrication systems to mining sites throughout Indonesia.

COMMENT The acquisition of Fluidcon gives Atlas Copco access to a wide footprint of mining customers to promote its products. 

Albany International

Albany International divested its global Albany Filtration Technologies (AFT) business to All Filtration Technologies Australia Pty Ltd for US$45 million (see Filtration Industry Analyst, June 2008).

COMMENT The buyer will acquire Albany’s equity ownership of Albany International Applied Technology (Suzhou) Co Ltd, as well as the remaining AFT business assets, most of which are located in Australia. 


Prab bought Envirodyne Technologies through its Kalamazoo Acquisition Corp (KAC). Envirodyne companies include STC Dip Spin, The MonlanGroup and Kalamazoo Fabricating (see Filtration Industry Analyst, June 2008).

COMMENT The MonlanGroup supplies coolant recovery and filtration systems. 

Superior Fibers

Superior Fibers purchased the assets of Precisionaire polyester pleat media from Flanders Corp (see Filtration Industry Analyst, June 2008).

COMMENT The acquisition gives Superior Fibers a broader line of air filtration media in fiberglass and polyester products and establishes it as a full-service filtration company. 

Hans Huber AG

Hans Huber AG acquired Uponor Klärtechnik GmbH, a German subsidiary of the Finnish Uponor group, which specializes in decentralized water technology (see Filtration Industry Analyst, June 2008).

COMMENT Uponor Klärtechnik GmbH’s name has been changed to Huber DeWaTec GmbH. 


FLSmidth acquired the automatic pressure filter business of US-based Pneumapress Inc in an US$18 million deal (see Filtration Industry Analyst, July 2008).

COMMENT Pneumapress joins recent acquisitions Dorr-Oliver Eimco and Krebs Engineers. 

Alfa Laval

Alfa Laval bought into biodiesel by acquiring about 45% of Sweden’s Ageratec, a company that develops process solutions for the biodiesel industry (see Filtration Industry Analyst, July 2008).

COMMENT By acquiring a stake in Ageratec, Alfa Laval believes it will be in the frontline of process developments for biodiesel.  

Third quarter 2008

The Riverside Co

The Riverside Co emerged as the buyer of SPX Air Filtration Ltd, a subsidiary of SPX Corp (see Filtration Industry Analyst, July and August 2008). The private equity firm also divested Universal Air Filter Co (UAF), which it acquired in 2005, to St Louis-based buyout firm Thompson Street Capital Partners. SPX Air Filtration’s portfolio of products includes Vokes-Air, Scandfilter, Atex-Filter, Industri-Filter, Climavent, Infiltro and Seasonmaster. Headquartered in Sauget, Illinois, USA, UAF specialises in customized air filtration products used in high-end electronics equipment applications requiring forced-air cooling.

COMMENT The Riverside deals put private equity and the filtration industry once again in the spotlight. The nature of the filtration sector means there are plenty more smaller end of the middle market (SEMM) companies out there with real potential. 

The Mann+Hummel Group

The Mann+Hummel Group increased its minority stake in its South Korean joint venture filter specialist Dongwoo to 100% (see Filtration Industry Analyst, August 2008). Dongwoo is a market leader in automotive filters in South Korea. The joint venture, which was established in 2002, has 430 employees at its main site in Munmak and the distribution centre in Ulsan and produces oil filters, oil modules, fuel filters, air filters, air cleaners and transmission oil filters for passenger cars and trucks.

COMMENT The move is part of Mann+Hummel’s strategy for Asia where the company hopes to gain direct access to national customers and generate additional sales in China, India, the USA and Eastern Europe with key South Korean customers. 


3M entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Ligacon AG, a Switzerland-based manufacturer and supplier of filtration systems and filter elements for the pharmaceutical, biotech and general industrial markets (see Filtration Industry Analyst, August 2008). Ligacon, a distributor of Cuno products, employs about 20 people at its headquarters in Tagelswangen, Switzerland.

COMMENT As part of 3M Cuno Filtration, Ligacon will gain access to 3M technologies and developments, which will expand Ligacon’s product offering and open up new market segments. 

H2O Innovation Inc

H2O Innovation Inc acquired 100% of the issued and outstanding shares of Itasca Systems Inc, a Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA-based company that specializes in treating industrial process water, mainly for the energy sector (see Filtration Industry Analyst, August 2008). Founded in 1995, Itasca designs, builds and services membrane filtration systems.

COMMENT The acquisition allows H2O to expand its products and services and diversify beyond the municipal sector to serve the fast growing industrial market. Itasca gives H2O immediate access to an industrial customer list as well as to a reference list of 150 projects realized mostly in the energy sector. 

Mahle Filtersysteme GmbH’s Industrial Filtration division

Mahle Filtersysteme GmbH completed the acquisition of Amafilter Group Holding BV, headquartered in Alkmaar, the Netherlands from ABN AMRO Capital Holdings NV (see Filtration Industry Analyst, September and October 2008). The Amafilter Group, which includes Amafilter, Eurofiltec, LFC Lochem, Falban Filtri, Nowata Filtration and Vanpipe, produces integrated filtration solutions for food & beverage, chemical, oil & gas, petrochemical, power generation, water and general industrial processes.

COMMENT Mahle plans to achieve significant sales growth as a result of the expanded product range and additional production capacities, particularly in the growing foodstuffs, energy technology, oil and gas, and chemicals markets. The company is targeting sales of more than €200 million in the Industrial Filtration business division in 2009. 

Alfa Laval Group

Alfa Laval Group acquired Hutchison Hayes Separation, a provider of separation equipment, parts and services, primarily to US energy related industries (see Filtration Industry Analyst, September 2008). Based in Houston, Texas, Hutchison Hayes Separation sells and leases new decanters and highspeed separators, as well as parts and services, mainly to US energy related markets and also to the marine and food industries. Founded in 1927, the company sells and leases new decanters and highspeed separators, as well as parts and services, mainly to US energy related markets and also to the marine and food industries.

COMMENT The acquisition is in line with Alfa Laval’s strategy of acquiring companies that complement the existing business in terms of products, geography or in the form of new sales channels. 

Weir Process Equipment

Weir Process Equipment was sold to Canada’s Wajax Income Fund’s Industrial Components business unit, Kinecor, for C$25.4 million (see Filtration Industry Analyst, September 2008). Weir Process Equipment, which was previously known as Peacock Inc, distributes pumps, process controls and instrumentation, filtration products and material handling equipment to the oil & gas, power generation, mining and infrastructure sectors across Canada.

COMMENT Weir Process Equipment’s products are complementary to Kinecor’s current offering and the acquisition significantly enhances Kinecor’s position in the Canadian process equipment market. 

Infilco Degremont Inc

Infilco Degremont Inc acquired Water & Power Technologies Inc (WPT), a specialist in ion exchange deionization, reverse osmosis and ultrafiltration membrane technologies (see Filtration Industry Analyst, September 2008).

COMMENT Following the acquisition, WPT will retain its Salt Lake City headquarters, remote offices and manufacturing facility. 

Fourth quarter 2008 

Basin Water Inc

Basin Water Inc bought Shaw Environmental & Infrastructure Inc’s bioreactor and biofilter activities (see Filtration Industry Analyst, October 2008).

COMMENT The acquisition brings a team of approximately 20 experienced engineers, scientists and design professionals to Basin Water. 

Larox Corp

Larox Corp became the new owner of Turku Ceramics Oy (see Filtration Industry Analyst, June, August and September 2008).

COMMENT Turku Ceramics is a subcontractor and the only manufacturer of technical ceramics in Finland. Larox uses the ceramic plates supplied by Turku Ceramics as filter elements in its disc filters.  


Siemens added the privately-owned German company SG Wasseraufbereitung und Regenerierstation GmbH (SG Water) to its water portfolio (see Filtration Industry Analyst, October 2008). Specializing in water treatment solutions for laboratories and industrial organizations, including electro-deionization systems and reverse osmosis technology, SG Water employs 60 people at two locations in Barsbüttel near Hamburg and Haimhausen near Munich.

COMMENT For Siemens this acquisition is about strengthening its portfolio and service business as well as expanding its international footprint in the high-purity water solutions market. 

Clarcor Inc

Clarcor Inc acquired the Keddeg Co, a privately-owned manufacturer of aviation filtration products based in Lenexa, Kansas (see Filtration Industry Analyst, January 2009). Keddeg has operated for over 20 years as a supplier of cabin air filters, anti-microbial filters, electronic equipment cooling filters and colalescers to aircraft manufacturers and airlines.

COMMENT Keddeg will operate as a member of Clarcor’s Purolator Advanced Filtration Group which is part of Clarcor’s Industrial/Environmental Filtration segment. 

Clyde Blowers Ltd

Clyde Blowers Ltd bought Textron Inc’s Fluid & Power business unit, including Maag Pump Systems, David Brown Gear Systems, David Brown Hydraulics and Union Pump (see Filtration Industry Analyst, October 2008). Maag Pump Systems, based in Oberglatt, Switzerland, supplies highly engineered polymer and compounding pumps, extrusion pumps, screen changers, filtration systems and high end industrial pumps.

COMMENT Maag Pump Systems, David Brown Gear Systems and David Brown Hydraulics will become separate portfolio companies with their own management, sitting alongside Clyde Process Solutions, Clyde Bergemann Power Group, InterBulk Group and Clyde Pumps. 

Parker Hannifin Corp

Parker Hannifin Corp bought Aqua Pro Inc, a California, USA-based manufacturer of reverse osmosis (RO) filtration systems for military, commercial and pleasure marine applications (see Filtration Industry Analyst, November 2008).

COMMENT Aqua Pro’s reverse osmosis water filtration technology systems and products will now serve broader markets on a global scale. 

Donaldson Co Inc

Donaldson Co Inc acquired Western Filter Corp, a Valencia, California, USA-based manufacturer of liquid filtration systems and replacement filters (see Filtration Industry Analyst, November 2008).

COMMENT The acquisition of Western Filter complements Parker’s existing aerospace and defense business. 

Cookson Group plc

Cookson Group plc entered into a conditional agreement to sell its Hi-Tech Ceramics filter business to the German specialty chemicals company Sud-Chemie AG (see Filtration Industry Analyst, November 2008). The Hi-Tech business is headquartered in Alfred Station, New York, USA.

COMMENT The divestment of Hi-Tech is a condition of the European Commission’s anti-trust approval of Cookson’s acquisition of ceramic specialist Foseco plc earlier this year. 

Lydall Inc

Lydall Inc bought DSM Solutech BV from Royal DSM NV in the Netherlands (see Filtration Industry Analyst, December 2008). The DSM Solutech business manufactures Solupor specialty microporous membranes for air and liquid filtration. Lydall has been a development partner for Solutech since 2007 and, as part of the agreement between the two companies, DSM will continue to cooperate with Lydall.

COMMENT Lydall says that the acquisition supports its strategy to invest in technologically innovative solutions for its most attractive segments. Lydall believes that adding Solutech’s membrane technology to Performance Materials will give an already strong business a new platform for growth.

Purex International Ltd

Purex International Ltd expanded with the acquisition of the fume extraction and filtration business of Canada’s PAT Technology Systems Inc (see Filtration Industry Analyst, December 2008). Based in Rotherham, UK Purex International manufactures fume extraction equipment for hand and machine soldering applications in the electronics industry.

COMMENT This acquisition allows Purex to enter the printing industry fume extraction market. 

VWS Envig

VWS Envig acquired Aqua Services & Engineering (Pty) Ltd (ASE), a Namibian-based supplier of water treatment services and equipment (see Filtration Industry Analyst, December 2008). ASE was established in 1993 as a wholly-owned Namibian company and focuses on supplying turnkey water and wastewater treatment installations, water treatment equipment, chemicals and specialised dosing equipment. South Africa’s VWS Envig is owned by Veolia Water Solutions and Technologies which in turn is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Veolia Environnement.

COMMENT VWS Envig says that ASE brings unique sewage trickling-filter technology and skill to the merger. The trickling filter concept, for the treatment of communal sewage water, allows the re-use of the treated water for agricultural purposes.