AxFlow Holding AB, has acquired Brown Brothers/Kelair, the market-leading distributor of positive displacement and centrifugal pumps in Australia and New Zealand. The Group operates through 15 locations across Australia and New Zealand.
The acquisition is the next step in AxFlow’s geographic expansion outside Europe, after the successful acquisition of AQS in South Africa, 2016. “The acquisition gives AxFlow great opportunities for sales growth in Australia and New Zealand, as well as a strong platform for growth in Oceania,” says AxFlow CEO Ole Weiner.
Headquartered in Christchurch, N.Z., Brown Brothers/Kelair sells centrifugal and positive displacement pumps to users and resellers in industrial segments and utility pumps to agriculture and municipalities. The Group’s leading position as a distributor of centrifugal pumps in Oceania is strengthened by its long relationship with Xylem, the global market leader in centrifugal pumps.
Weiner sees the market for positive displacement and centrifugal pumps in Australia and New Zealand as very attractive, with considerable growth prospects. “Australia and New Zealand combine good business climate with healthy growth rates,” he says, adding that as a leading distributor in fragmented market, with a multi-regional and nationwide presence, as well as a well-established service and installation business, Brown Brothers/Kelair are a very good strategic fit with AxFlow’s existing business.
Brown Brothers Engineers was established in 1908 in New Zealand by Alfred and Phillip Brown. In the early years, the company specialized in electrical engineering and diversified into pumps after 1915. In 1980, Brown Brothers became a member of the Mace Group of Companies. It acquired Sydney-based Kelair in 2004. The Mace Group is a second-generation family company lead by Ted Mace, chairman of the board.
“I am glad to hand over the ownership to AxFlow, with its long-term ownership view and strong values,” says Mace. “It will present new opportunities for the group and its employees and be a reliable partner for our customers for many years to come.”
John Inkster, CEO, Brown Brothers and Kelair Pumps, will continue to run the company after the acquisition. “We see a very good match between the Brown Brothers and AxFlow management culture,” Weiner says. “This is crucial to our ambition to keep people with local expertise in place, while giving the acquired company the opportunities that come with being part of a larger group.”