BDT Capital Partners LLC, a merchant bank that provides closely held businesses with long-term, differentiated capital, has, through its affiliated funds, entered into an agreement to acquire Culligan International, a brand consumer-focused and sustainable water solutions and services. BDT will acquire Culligan alongside several strategic family business owners and investors within the firm’s global network from private equity investors Advent International and Centerbridge Partners LP. As part of this agreement, Advent will also reinvest to acquire a minority stake in the business.
Culligan is a global consumer water services provider with a mission to bring clean, safe, soft and great-tasting water to improve consumers’ health and wellness and reduce single-use plastics.
“For more than eight decades, we’ve served as a leading provider of water treatment solutions and service – driving innovation, a better consumer experience and sustainability – while moving the market forward and transforming ourselves,” said Scott Clawson, CEO of Culligan International. “We have the leading dealer network as well as direct service operations that touch consumers around the world. We’re grateful for the support of Advent and Centerbridge, and are excited to work with our new partners at BDT as we continue to execute on our growth plan and expand our leadership position in the consumer water market. I’m confident that the best is yet to come for Culligan and our valued customers, franchise dealers, employees and partners.”
“Culligan is the innovative pioneer in clean and safe water solutions that has grown to become one of the world’s most trusted brands, led by Scott Clawson and a highly-experienced management team who share our commitment to providing families and communities with healthier water while reducing plastics consumption,” said Scott Hasley, managing director of BDT Capital Partners. “We look forward to our long-term partnership with Scott and his team, consistent with our business model of providing patient capital to closely held businesses, while leveraging our global network of business owners and investors to support the company’s continued growth and expansion.”
“We are proud of what we have accomplished in partnership with the exceptional management team at Culligan,” said David McKenna, a managing partner at Advent. “With Advent’s global team supporting the growth of the business around the world, Culligan has realized our shared vision – establishing itself as a best-in-class brand, invigorating its customer engagement and creating a global leader at the forefront of health and sustainability. Our collaboration with Culligan exemplifies Advent’s value creation philosophy of working with management teams to build highly differentiated and scalable platforms that can drive long-term growth. We’re thrilled to build on this partnership alongside BDT and look forward to Culligan’s continued success.”
“Scott and his team have built Culligan into a unique consumer water services platform with best-in-class growth characteristics and exceptional business quality,” added Steven Silver, senior managing director and co-head of private equity at Centerbridge. “We are delighted to have been partners with Culligan for nearly a decade, and we wish the company the best in the next phase of its growth.”
Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC is serving as lead financial advisor to Culligan. Citibank is also serving as a financial advisor. Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is serving as legal counsel to Advent and Centerbridge. Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is serving as lead transaction counsel to BDT.