Brussels-based pipe producer Aliaxis SA acquired Israel-based Aquarius Spectrum, a supplier of products for water leak detection and pipe condition assessment, for its newly created Aliaxis Next division, which develops adjacent businesses in the field of water management and preservation.
Aquarius Spectrum sales are less than 5 million euros ($5.1 million) a year with a strong growth potential, according to a news release about the deal.
Terms were not disclosed.
Aquarius Spectrum's technology uses acoustic sensors and computer analysis to detect water leaks and pinpoint their exact location. The technology has saved close to 8 billion liters of water, which is the equivalent of 3,200 Olympic-sized swimming pools, the release says.
Fredrik Östbye, head of Aliaxis Next, describes the technology developed by the Aquarius Spectrum team as "very promising."
"They have demonstrated their entrepreneurial and business capabilities. We're very excited to build on their technology, so we can jointly scale up to more accurately detect and fix water leaks. Together we will continue to work to preserve the world's water resources," Östbye said in the release.
Aliaxis CEO Eric Olsen added that, "due to aging water infrastructure, 35 percent of transported water in the world is lost through hidden leakages that remain impossible to repair. Aquarius Spectrum's state-of-the-art technology significantly reduces water losses and proactively monitors for future leakages in both new and aging infrastructure. The acquisition of Aquarius Spectrum is a major step in driving our ambition to create the next generation of solutions with real societal impact."
In North America, Aliaxis is the parent company of Ipex Group, a pipe maker based in Canada with manufacturing facilities and distribution centers across North America and a U.S. headquarters, Ipex USA LLC, in Pineville, N.C.
With an estimated $900 million in annual sales, Ipex Group is the fifth-largest pipe, profile and tubing extruder in North America, according to Plastics News' latest ranking.
Ipex manufactures thermoplastic piping systems for the municipal, irrigation, industrial, plumbing, mechanical, electrical and telecommunication sectors.
From 2016 until 2021, pipe maker Uponor Oyj was involved in a similar effort, but for the residential market.
Uponor owned 50 percent of the joint venture company Phyn LLC, which offers water sensing and conservation technology, but sold it to partner Belkin International Inc. for an undisclosed price.
Phyn's original technology detects leaks in home plumbing systems and can shut off water. The product line then evolved to also tell homeowners if their pipes are about to freeze during extreme cold.
Uponor officials partnered with Belkin to promote the technology and offer its plumbing expertise, professional trade insights and a global wholesale distribution channel.
However, the partnership ended in August 2021 with Uponor booking an impairment on Phyn's valuation.
"These five years have proven that Phyn is on the right path with its water leakage detection technology, yet market adoption has not reached the targeted levels," Uponor Corp. President and CEO Jyri Luomakoski said at the time.