Founders repurchase Hartland manufacturing firm

Reinders, Carlson now own Watertronics again

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:20 pm

Rick Reinders and Chip Carlson, two of the three founders of Watertronics, have repurchased the Hartland manufacturer from Omaha, Nebraska-based Lindsay Corp.

Lindsay, a global manufacturer of irrigation and infrastructure equipment, acquired Watertronics Inc. in 2008.

Reinders, Carlson and two other shareholders recently reacquired Watertronics from Lindsay Corp. for an undisclosed price.

“We left the business a year ago to pursue other activities and with the changing of the CEO at Lindsay, it brought a different direction in their strategic plan and we saw an opportunity to buy the business back,” Reinders said.

State real estate records show Watertronics has repurchased one of its two Hartland manufacturing facilities, located at 579 Progress Drive, for $3.7 million. Reinders said the company has also repurchased the headquarters at nearby 525 E. Industrial Drive, and a third facility in Melbourne, Florida.

Watertronics, established by Reinders, his father Richard Reinders Sr. and Carlson in 1987, designs and manufactures custom pumping systems for golf, landscape, municipal and agricultural customers. It has 95 employees, all of whom will be retained in the transaction, Reinders said.

“I think we’ve got some opportunities to grow the business in some of the strategic markets we’re in and some additional ones,” Reinders said. “We’ve built the business from its inception to where it’s at today with the exception of the one-year hiatus we took.”

Watertronics plans to add a fourth facility in North Prairie, which will house about 10 new employees, he said.

“It’s adjacent to our buildings here and it has less to do with the location and more with the capabilities of the facility and proximity,” Reinders said. “It’s extra space where we can have more area for our larger projects that we build, and some of our specialty processes would be located in that building.”

Lindsay Corp. said the divestment of Watertronics and affiliated business LAKOS was part of a plan to focus on its core business of commercial irrigation and infrastructure.

“The sale of the Watertonics and LAKOS businesses helps us achieve those goals while maintaining water pumping and filtration as parts of our turnkey irrigation strategy through continuing commercial agreements with those businesses,” said Tim Hassinger, president and CEO of Lindsay, in a statement.

Reinders said Watertronics has an agreement with Lindsay Corp. to continue to provide its integrated solutions to the corporation.

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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