MAIDENHEAD, UK, 13th July 2021 – Waterlogic, a leading global designer, manufacturer, distributor and service provider of purified drinking water dispensers, is pleased to announce the acquisition of QWS Holding and the Quality Water Service group of companies in Puerto Rico, Chile and Colombia.
Quality Water Service (QWS) has led the bottleless water dispenser industry in Puerto Rico, Chile and Colombia and currently operates tens of thousands of water dispensers and coffee machines for corporate, healthcare, education, leisure, and hospitality customers. The company has been a distributor of Waterlogic dispensers since 2010, delivering the highest standards of water quality and offering sustainable hydration solutions for both business and residential customers. QWS was co-founded in Puerto Rico in 2006 by Richard Christiansen Sr. and his son, Richard Christiansen Jr. and has successfully expanded its operations in Latin America, with 170 employees now located across its three businesses.
Puerto Rico based growth equity firm, Advent-Morro Equity Partners, first invested in QWS in 2010, and has since backed the company’s regional expansion throughout Latin America. “While we have exited most of our investment in QWS, we thought wise to roll over a sizeable piece into Waterlogic equity in order to continue having a stake in a high growth industry with the best company that has been, and continues to be, a pioneer in the bottleless water dispensing industry” outlined Cyril Meduña, Managing Partner at Advent-Morro.
Founded in 1992, Waterlogic is a vertically integrated company operating throughout Europe, the Americas and Australia with its own manufacturing operations and an extensive independent global distribution network, together reaching over 65 countries. Waterlogic has pioneered the application of advanced technology in the design of its water dispensers to deliver the most sustainable, safest water proven effective against COVID-19. The company is responsible for hydrating nearly 50 million consumers daily and contributes to the reduction of 23.8 billion single-use plastic bottles each year.
The deal allows Waterlogic to establish a direct presence in Puerto Rico and to build on its capabilities and customer base in Chile and Colombia following their market entry with the acquisitions of Aquafree in Chile in 2019 and Hidrospot in Colombia in 2020.
Rodrigo Serres, Waterlogic Managing Director for Latin America said, “Our relationship with QWS has been 11 years in the making. They are a trusted partner who will help us achieve a stronger foothold in Chile and Colombia as well as the opportunity to establish a direct presence for the first time in Puerto Rico.”
Jeremy Ben David, Waterlogic Founder and Group CEO added, “With strong Waterlogic regional management now in place in Puerto Rico, Chile and Colombia following the transaction, welcoming the QWS team of skilled and dedicated experts with an established customer base will help Waterlogic build upon these foundations and achieve a prominent presence in the Caribbean, and in South and Central America.”
Waterlogic reports a strong short to medium term pipeline of M&A across the region as it continues to actively expand its footprint in LatAm to offer an extensive range of freestanding and countertop dispensers, Billi integrated dispensers and Purezza, the company’s specialty restaurant and hospitality solution.
Richard Christiansen Jr., co-founder of QWS commented, “Waterlogic’s focus on innovation, service, hygiene and sustainability compliments our approach to business, and our customers already enjoy the benefits of Waterlogic’s COVID-secure dispensers providing peace of mind to thousands of businesses across Puerto Rico, Chile and Colombia. Becoming part of Waterlogic is a natural progression, and this acquisition offers us the chance to provide even more customers with cutting-edge technology across an extensive range of products.”
Cyril Meduña, Founder of Advent-Morro Equity Partners added, “The QWS team has been amazing to work with, full of energy, focus and talent. Advent-Morro teamed up with QWS in 2010 when Richard Christensen Jr. had just taken the reins of the company and had the dream of growing, then a small 250-unit dispenser business with three employees, into a leader in the water dispensing business not only in Puerto Rico but across Latin America.We backed that dream with our capital and experience in growing young entrepreneurial companies into industry leaders.The QWS team executed to perfection, and we are now very excited that QWS will form part of the world’s leader in the water dispensing and hydration business. There is no better place for QWS and most importantly, for its employees.”
NLD Abogados acted as lead legal advisor and McConnell Valdés, DLA Piper Martínez Beltrán and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP acted as legal co-advisors to Waterlogic. Raymond James & Associates, Inc acted as financial advisor and Ferraiuoli LLC acted as legal advisor to QWS.
Waterlogic was acquired in January 2015 by funds managed by Castik Capital, the European private equity investor. QWS is the most recent acquisition as part of the company’s buy and build strategy since the acquisition by Castik, and following substantial acquisitions in the U.S. and Canada, UK, Australia, Spain, France, Germany, Latin America and Scandinavia.
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Rosanna Turner, Group Marketing Communications Manager
Waterlogic is an innovative designer, manufacturer, distributor and service provider of drinking water dispensers and accessories designed for environments such as offices, factories, hospitals,
restaurants, hotels, schools and public spaces. From freestanding, countertop and integrated dispensers to water filling stations, fountains and boilers, every solution focuses on delivering the best quality water in the safest and most sustainable way. An extensive range of consumables and accessories adapts to customer needs and is available on subscription service to guarantee cost savings and continuous supply.
Founded in 1992, Waterlogic was one of the first companies to introduce mains-fed dispensers to customers worldwide, and has been at the forefront of the market promoting product design and water quality, the application of proprietary technologies, sustainability and world-class sales and service.
Waterlogic has its own subsidiaries in 20 countries and its core markets are the U.S., Australia and Western Europe, in particular the UK and Germany. The company drives growth organically and through M&A to consolidate its lead in existing territories and extend its reach to new markets. In addition, Waterlogic’s extensive and expanding independent global distribution network spans over 50 countries around the world in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and South Africa. Its far-reaching market coverage means Waterlogic is the only water dispenser provider able to cover the full geographical needs of global customers under one roof. More information can be found at www.waterlogic.com
About Advent Morro
Advent-Morro Equity Partners is Puerto Rico’s leading private equity investment firm.Founded by Cyril L. Meduña in 1989, it has invested in over 60 companies focused on growth equity. Its investment strategy is simple, it backs young companies with extraordinary management teams and helps build these companies to be of extraordinary value. Many of the Advent-Morro backed companies have become leaders in their respective industries, such as healthcare, telecommunications, distribution, technology services, education and hospitality. While Advent-Morro’s investment mandate is not regional, due to its position as the leading private equity firm in Puerto Rico most of its portfolio and its investment focus is on companies based in or having operations in Puerto Rico.
Castik Capital S.à r.l (“Castik”) manages investments in private equity. Castik is a European multistrategy investment manager, acquiring significant ownership positions in European private and public companies, where long-term value can be generated through active partnerships with management teams. Founded in 2014, Castik Capital focuses on identifying and developing investment opportunities across Europe. The investments are made by the Luxembourg based EPIC funds. The first fund, EPIC I, had a volume of €1 billion and was raised in 2014/2015. The second fund, EPIC II, had its final close in October 2020 and a volume of €1.25 billion. The third fund, EPIC I-b, closed in May 2021 with a volume of €700m and is a single asset fund that owns a controlling stake in Waterlogic. The advisor to Castik is Castik Capital Partners GmbH, based in Munich.