Aqua-Chem Adds On

Aqua-Chem, a Knoxville, Tenn.-based maker of osmosis technology and water pretreatment equipment, has acquired Specific Equipment Co., a Houston-based provider of fluid-handling systems for the petroleum industry. No financial terms were disclosed. Aqua-Chem is a portfolio company of Altus Capital Partners.


Aqua-Chem, Inc., a leading supplier of water purification systems to the offshore oil and gas, pharmaceutical, beverage and military markets, today announced that it has acquired Houston-based Specific Equipment Company (“SPECIFIC”), a provider of fluid-handling systems for the petroleum industry, resort hotels and other industry segments. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

SPECIFIC is Aqua-Chem’s second acquisition in less than two years. Matrix, acquired in October 2008, also provides state-of-the-art reverse osmosis systems for marine and land-based applications.

David Gensterblum, Aqua-Chem’s President and CEO, said, “With a proven track record in providing offshore watermaking applications, helicopter refueling systems and potable and sanitary water pressure sets, SPECIFIC strengthens our capabilities across key customer industries. At the same time, the acquisition will extend Aqua-Chem’s reach to markets outside of the U.S., particularly South America and Mexico, where there is a great need for high-purity water. Now, more than ever, Aqua-Chem is a ‘one-stop’ solution provider for a full range of desalination systems, offering the optimal solution for every application.”

“David Gensterblum and his superb management team are completely focused on creating value for customers,” said Gregory L. Greenberg, Senior Partner of Altus Capital Partners, the largest outside investor in Aqua-Chem. “As this transaction demonstrates, Altus will continue to invest in Aqua-Chem to broaden its product offerings and systems to help achieve that goal.”

SPECIFIC President Phil Shrader will remain with Aqua-Chem and actively manage the SPECIFIC division. Speaking of his decision to sell SPECIFIC to Aqua-Chem, he said, “Working with Aqua-Chem, we gain production, sales and service capacity in delivering a broad range of products to our customers. Our Houston location facilitates support of Aqua-Chem products in the offshore industry. As always, we stand behind our work, and our equipment speaks for itself.”

About Aqua-Chem, Inc.

Since 1940, Aqua-Chem has become a leader in evaporation and reverse osmosis technologies and water pretreatment equipment, with a full array of engineering, manufacturing, installation, training and maintenance services. The company serves the needs of customers in the following major markets: offshore oil and gas, commercial marine, pharmaceutical, beverage and military markets. Aqua-Chem is based in Knoxville, TN and sells its products in more than 100 countries around the world.

About Specific Equipment Company

Based in Houston, TX, Specific Equipment Company began building customized pump packages for the offshore petroleum industry in 1967. The company’s product line has expanded since then to include reverse osmosis watermakers, helicopter refueling systems, packages to handle water, several pump distributorships, fuel systems, oil water separators, and systems to treat and purify water. SPECIFIC now serves satisfied customers in the petroleum industry, commercial and military shipbuilders as well as users of purified/treated water in resorts, power generation and general industry.

About Altus Capital Partners, LLC

Based in Westport, CT, Altus Capital Partners, Inc. invests alongside management in profitable small to medium-sized manufacturing companies to help seize growth opportunities and solve succession challenges. The partners of Altus Capital Partners have worked together for 12 years, refining a disciplined approach toward creating shareholder value by acquiring and growing unique manufacturing companies in the U.S.

Altus Capital Partners-backed osmosis technology and water pretreatment equipment maker based in Knoxville, Tenn., acquired Matrix Utilities Corp, a water purification company. The deal value was undisclosed.