Pleatco, a leading manufacturer of cartridge filters for the pool and spa industry, has closed a deal to acquire APEL International Filtration, a top designer and manufacturer of pleated filter cartridges, pleated bags and other filtration products for industrial air applications, and MPF Engineered Filters, a key producer of industrial air filtration products located in Ontario, Canada. APEL will be merged with Milton to create a single industrial air filtration division and the formation of these three industry-leading companies will be consolidated under Pleatco Filtration this year.

“For the past 13 years we have grown the Pleatco brand and business to be the industry leader in the pool and spa industry, and it is with great excitement that we announce these acquisitions that expand our business into the industrial air filtration space.” remarks Howard Smith, Pleatco. “This is a significant strategic milestone that dramatically accelerates our growth plans. By consolidating our combined resources and intellectual property we are able to leverage our operations to become a significant driving force in the filtration space leading through science and innovation.”

Coincident with the acquisitions, Howard Smith will now take on the role of vice chairman and Rick Von Drehle has joined Pleatco Filtration as CEO. “The acquisitions of APEL and Milton are core to our strategy at Pleatco Filtration – to build a diversified, aftermarket focused filtration products company with an unwavering commitment to science and innovation,” says ACP Managing Partner Rob Langley. “Rick has been on the board at Pleatco since we became a key shareholder in Pleatco in 2017, he has a great track record of building and growing filtration businesses. We look forward to working with Rick and the broader Pleatco team to execute our organic growth initiatives and to further build the Pleatco Filtration platform through acquisitions.”

“I’m excited to continue our legacy as a high-quality manufacturer with industry-best lead times under the Pleatco Filtration brand and platform,” says Paul LaCroix, founder of APEL.

Dave Brunner, president of Milton Manufacturing, adds: “The commitment to product quality, customer service, and innovation were key to my decision to partner with Pleatco.”

Pleatco Filtration will optimize production and consolidate operations across all facilities with manufacturing in New York, Mexicali, Louisville and Ontario and a distribution center in Calexico.

“In the immediate, APEL and Milton will continue to operate under their current brands, allowing us to align our systems, processes and people and ultimately operate under the one banner. The strength that merging these three key industry players brings a significant new force to the filtration space,” says Rick Von Drehle, CEO Pleatco Filtration. “All three companies have built a great reputation for quality, service and innovation. The consolidation under the 'Pleatco Filtration' brand provides us with a tremendous competitive advantage to leverage the company to the highest level across both air and water filtration industries.”