Haviland Pool and Spa Products has acquired Baleco International Inc. of North Bend, Ohio. Baleco International offers a wide variety of pool water treatment products, including Aquamate and Maintain Pool Pro, and also provides private labeling services. Baleco began as Cincinnati Soap Center in 1958 before adding pool chemistry in 1962. Baleco moved to its current 100,000 square foot facility at North Bend, Ohio, in 1979.

“We are thrilled to welcome Baleco into the Haviland family. Their facility, their location and capabilities are a great fit for us, but their people and the way they respond to customers was the key,” says Art Harre, Haviland chief sales officer. “We want them do what they’ve done successfully for almost 60 years – service the customer.”

Haviland, founded in 1934 is an employee-owned ESOP, and celebrates its 20th anniversary of employee ownership this year.

“We’re looking at this as a partnership,” Harre adds. “They have really strong brands and their pool accessory line is a great compliment to our pool hose products.”

“As a family-owned company, we were looking to do what’s best for the next generation.” says Jeff Hammersmith, son of Baleco founder Lee Hammersmith. “The Haviland family had the same decision some years ago and they decided to become employee-owned. We’re happy to be able to add our employees into their retirement program like that. This is a great fit for our people and for our business. Haviland is looking at customer first, and that’s always been our focus.”

Haviland will retain all of Baleco’s employees.