Leisure Pools Group to purchase Groupe Beneteau manufacturing facility in Marion, South Carolina
70+ jobs anticipated to be saved at the Marion, SC Facility
Knoxville, TN, September 10, 2020 — The Leisure Pools Group, one of the world’s largest composite fiberglass swimming pool manufacturers, announces that it has entered into an agreement to purchase the Groupe Beneteau manufacturing facility in Marion, South Carolina.
The 225,000 square foot facility located on 40 acres has been home to Group Beneteau’s North America yacht manufacturing division since its opening in 1986. Groupe Beneteau is a worldwide leader in the boating industry and has been building sailing yachts and powerboats for all types of boating practices since 1884.
Avoids plant closure
Groupe Beneteau, the owner of the manufacturing facility, announced in June that it would be hibernating the facility by the end of 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. The Groupe announced that they would be gradually slowing down operations beginning in mid-September 2020 with an eventual closure by the end of the year.
Groupe Beneteau Americas Chief Operating Officer Yannick Madiot said, “It was a grueling decision for us to hibernate activities at this plant but for our future success, and out of respect to our dedicated employees, we had to investigate other options. Leisure Pools approached us with an innovative solution that would allow the plant to remain open and as importantly, take advantage of the incredible skills our team has developed over the past thirty years. We are excited that we will be able to pass the torch to an ownership team that shares our values, especially in the area of beautiful, high-quality products built by uncompromising talent.”
Groupe Beneteau manufacturing facility in Marion, South Carolina
Offering the world’s best composite fiberglass swimming pools
David Pain, CEO and Co-Founder of the Leisure Pools Group, echoes the excitement regarding this opportunity. “When this opportunity first developed, our team was focused on finding a way to meet the growing consumer demand for our product. We required more capacity in manufacturing space and people to build more of the world’s finest inground composite fiberglass swimming pools to meet demand. We are most excited about the opportunity to access the talents of many of the current Marion team members. Their composite fiberglass experience, when supported by their strong pride of work, is a priceless combination that will serve us, our global dealer network and the thousands of excited families each year that purchase one of our composite fiberglass swimming pools.”
David Hay, Chief Operating Officer – Manufacturing, added that “the Marion manufacutring facility is practically built for us with its large, open manufacturing production area, extensive use of overhead cranes, resin storage tanks, and a ventilation system that marries up nicely with our production techniques. Leisure Pools already operates the world’s largest composite fiberglass swimming pools manufacturing facility in Knoxville, TN, and the Marion, SC facility will become the second largest facility in North America. This combination will provide the Leisure Pools Group with more than enough manufacturing capacity to meet the entire North American demand for composite fiberglass swimming pools.”
Leisure Pools Group finds itself as the beneficiary of a number of consumer trends. Prior to the current health crisis, composite fiberglass swimming pool production has been increasing every year. Mike Massa, Leisure Pools Chief Sales Officer, explains that “when we first introduced our products to the United States in 2004, market share for composite fiberglass swimming pools was around five percent of all inground pool sales. Within the last fifteen years, our market share has increased to as much as 25% this past year. Dealers are finding that the benefits of having a factory-produced swimming pool with an abundance of size, color, and design options, offers their consumers an incredible value. Combine this with ease of installation and reduced costs in labor and time, you can understand why more and more dealers are signing up to offer their customers one of our premium brands (Leisure Pools, Imagine Pools or AVIVA POOLS.) With many consumers discovering us through referrals or on-line research, our forecast is for continued strong sales growth as we continue to take market share against gunite (concrete) pools and vinyl liner pools.”
Waking up from hibernation
The facility anticipated shutting down in mid-September but that will dramatically change once the purchase is complete. David Pain, Leisure Pools CEO, will be leading the team to manage a rapid conversion of the plant from boat building to swimming pool manufacturing. “We actually have experience with this as our Knoxville Headquarters was originally a boat manufacturing facility. When we purchased that site, we had to convert it over for swimming pool manufacturing so our experiences there will be extremely valuable as we do the same here in Marion.”
The current schedule calls for the facility conversion and equipment transfers to go into place during September 2020. Training will then take place with the goal of having production of quality fiberglass pools rolling during October.
“The Leisure Pools Group is a private, family owned and operated company,” explains Chuck West, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. “However, the greatest impact for the community is that we anticipate retaining approximately 70 employees immediately and we look forward to putting them to work right away. We anticipate this number to increase in future years. The current opportunities will be in production, operations, engineering, logistics, warehouse, accounting and administration. We ask that anyone interested in opportunities with our Group visit our website at leisurepoolsusa.com or subscribe to our Indeed social media page for additional employment opportunities.
Grand opening event
The Leisure Pools Group is planning to host a “Grand Opening Showcase” in the Spring of 2021. The company is also considering installing a display swimming pool so that visitors can see first-hand the beauty and quality of a swimming pool built by Marion team members. In addition, the Group is looking forward to hosting dealers from around the world to to the Marion, SC manufacturing facility to demonstrate our superior manufacturing process and commitment to quality.
Leisure Pools Group
Founded in the year 2000 by the father and son combination, Kerry and David Pain, in Yatala, Australia, the company has grown from a small manufacturing facility into an international company that has sold their high-quality, one-piece, in-ground composite fiberglass swimming pools in 23 countries. They have helped over 60,000 families enjoy their well-deserved “Life of Leisure” by offering an inground swimming pool product that is built with vinyl ester resin and complimented with additional ingredients such as Kevlar®, basalt and carbon fibers and additional components for structural strength. The company’s success has allowed them to launch Imagine Pools™, a private-label brand in partnership with POOLCORP, the world’s largest distributor of swimming pool products and services. The company has also launched AVIVA POOLS™ featuring contemporary designs for homeowners and dealers seeking to make their “dreams come true.” The company has expanded into complimentary categories with the introduction of Integra Pool Covers™, who manufacturers automatic swimming pool safety covers. The company’s North American Headquarters are in Knoxville, Tennessee with additional manufacturing facilities in New Braunfels, Texas (and soon, Marion, South Carolina.) For more information, visit the following websites: leisurepoolscanada.ca, imaginepools.com, avivapools.com, and integrapoolcover.com.