Ecolab Buying Ecovation

Ecolab Inc. (NYSE: ECL) has agreed to acquire Ecovation Inc., a Victor, N.Y.-based provider of renewable energy solutions and effluent management systems for the U.S. food and beverage market. Ecolab will pay $210 million, but the net purchase price will be $170 million after the sale of approximately $40 million in long-term lease receivables. Ecovation has raised around $19.7 million in VC funding from firms like Roser Ventures, Sterling Partners, Cordova Ventures and Cayuga Venture Fund.



Ecolab Inc. announced it has agreed to purchase Ecovation, Inc., a Rochester, NY area-based provider of renewable energy solutions and effluent management systems primarily for the food and beverage manufacturing industry in the U.S., including dairy, beverage, and meat and poultry producers. Ecovation is growing rapidly: 2007 sales were approximately $50 million, having grown tenfold since 2005; 2008 sales are expected to exceed $100 million. Ecolab will pay $210 million but intends to sell approximately $40 million of long-term lease receivables, resulting in an effective net purchase price of $170 million. No other terms were announced.

Douglas M. Baker, Jr., Ecolab's Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer commented on the announcement, saying, “This acquisition greatly expands the range of solutions Ecolab can provide to its food and beverage processing customers to help them manage food safety, water, energy and environmental stewardship. Ecovation's technologies allow food processing plants to be more environmentally responsible while simultaneously reducing operating costs. For Ecolab, it opens exciting new growth prospects in our second largest global business and in an area where we have achieved consistent strong growth and global market leadership.”

Through the design, construction and operation of on-premise treatment facilities, Ecovation applies its proprietary processes in the areas of anaerobic wastewater treatment, solids management and air pollution control to the plant wastewater streams. These streams are then converted to cleaner water that can be recycled or released into the environment while extracting energy that can be utilized in the plant. Ecovation helps customers reduce operating costs by treating waste on their premises instead of hauling it away or operating large aerobic treatment fields that require acreage and can potentially create other environmental issues. Ecovation systems reduce plant operating costs by capturing energy from the waste and returning it to the plant, thereby increasing environmental compliance and sustainability. Ecovation's proprietary technologies will also help food and beverage processors comply with an increasingly more difficult regulatory environment with respect to wastewater management and plant effluent discharge.

“While an emerging market, the potential for such complete plant solutions is substantial, with the U.S. food and beverage market opportunity alone exceeding $4 billion,” Baker continued. “We believe Ecolab can help further develop Ecovation's potential by leveraging our strong and established global customer base, and delivering additional water and energy solutions for customers.

“We expect the transaction to be up to $0.01 dilutive to earnings per share in 2008, and show accretion building in 2009 and thereafter.”

Baker concluded by saying, “We are excited by the terrific potential Ecovation brings both Ecolab and its customers. We have high expectations for the business, and believe this acquisition will give us a leadership position in this critical and emerging market as well as provide solid long term growth opportunities.”

With sales of $5 billion and more than 13,000 sales-and-service associates, Ecolab Inc. (NYSE: ECL) is the global leader in cleaning, sanitizing, food safety and infection prevention products and services. Ecolab delivers comprehensive programs and services to foodservice, food and beverage processing, healthcare, and hospitality markets in more than 160 countries. More news and information is available at