Watts Industries, Inc. announced that it has acquired Hunter Innovations, Inc. located in Sacramento, California for $25,000,000. $10,000,000 was paid at the closing and the balance will be paid over four years. Hunter was founded in 1995 as a technology development company and has developed a patented diaphragm seal technology currently licensed by Watts for its backflow prevention product line, a line of automatic control valves, and significant new advances in large backflow prevention device technology. Hunter Innovations is transitioning from a technology development company to a manufacturing company and its sales during the last 12 months were approximately $1.5 million.
Michael O. Fifer, president of North American Operations for Watts Industries, stated, "Watts Industries is the world leader in backflow prevention with $110 million of annual sales to this expanding market. This is a very strategic acquisition in that it combines the next-generation technology Hunter has developed for large backflow prevention devices with the sales and marketing strengths of Watts. Improved features that are important to the backflow prevention markets include lighter weight, shorter lay lengths, better flow characteristics, improved serviceability, and multiple end-connection and shutoff valve options. This new technology will immediately increase the market strength of Watts in both the fire protection and plumbing markets for backflow prevention."