Pentair exits aquaculture industry
May 31, 2019
By Liza Mayer
Water treatment specialist Pentair Plc is exiting the aquaculture business and selling related units to focus its strength on the residential and commercial pool segments.
A spokesperson for the Minneapolis-headquartered company said the firm will sell the Vaki business unit under the Aquatic Eco-Systems Division, which is specialized in aquaculture-related products and services. Vaki specifically provides fish handling, counting and grading solutions. Pentair will also divest itself of the Chile operations and the online catalog operation.
“While we believe the aquaculture business offers attractive long-term opportunities, the short term business model does not meet our expectations. Pentair will not have any business related to aquaculture once the sale process is complete,” spokesperson Rebecca Osborn told Aquaculture North America (ANA).
About 35 employees in the Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems Division are being let go as soon as June 5 as a result of the decision.
“We plan to operate business as usual as we navigate through the sale process. We are dedicated to ensuring a smooth transition for our customers, and will be communicating with customers,” Osborne added.
Reacting to news of Pentair’s departure from the industry, the executives at Aquatic Equipment and Design (AED) gave assurance to the aquaculture industry it still has “a partner in aquaculture supplies and design.”
AED was formed after the Pentair merger with Aquatic Eco-Systems (AES) in 2012, and provides aquaculture equipment and designs to aquaculture companies worldwide. AES was established in 1978 by Robert “Bob” Heideman, a former Navy SEAL. AED co-owners Amy Riedel-Stone and Huy Tran, president and vice-president, respectively, both learned the business from Heideman, prior to establishing AED.
“Huy and I are proud to have been able to learn from Bob and continue his mission and values today,” Riedel-Stone said in a statement.