Karcher’s rise to #1 pressure washer manufacturer in North America didn’t happen overnight. Fourteen (14) brands, corporations and subsidiaries had to be merged and acquired over 9 years. Here’s the story:

Karcher North America Revenue RiseKarcher North America Inc., headquartered in Denver, Colorado is a subsidiary of Karcher Group, headquartered in Winnenden, Germany.

Karcher North America Inc. manages 11 brands (12 if you include Karcher) in the cleaning equipment and service industry.

The origins of Karcher Group’s expansion into North America began with the acquisition of C-Tech Industries in 2004. This was followed in 2006 by the acquisition of Castle Rock Industries. Shortly thereafter, in late 2006, the incorporation of the legal entity called Karcher North America was official.

Here is a brief history of the acquisitions and the companies acquired through them.

Through Acquisition of C-Tech Industries Inc. (March 15, 2004)

Karcher acquired C-Tech Industries from Harbour Group Ltd  for an undisclosed amount on March 15, 2004.

Harbour Group is a St Louis based investment firm. Harbour Group began to acquire cleaning technology companies in 1997 with the acquisition of Hotsy, and finished in 1999 with the acquisition of Landa. They formed C-Tech Industries in late 1999 to manage this cleaning technology division. Hence “C” for cleaning and “Tech” for technology.

With the purchase of C-Tech Industries, Karcher obtained the pressure washer, parts cleaning and water treatment equipment brands Hotsy, Landa, Water Maze, Cuda, Spraymart and Shark. Karcher North America’s foundation had been poured.

Karcher North America Brands Via C-Tech Industries

Hotsy - A leader in the heavy-duty industrial pressure washer category since 1970. Especially known as the leading manufacturer of the hot water/steam style pressure washer. In addition, they have an extensive network of 150+ Hotsy Dealers across the USA and Canada.

Landa - The oldest pressure washing rental company in the USA. Landa started in 1969 as a rental company and in 1978 moved into manufacturing pressure washers. By 1999, the time of acquisition by Harbour Group, Landa had the largest dealer network of any pressure cleaner company. They are well known for their industrial pressure washers.

Water Maze - A brand of water treatment equipment by Landa.

Cuda - Cuda makes “industrial sized dishwashers”. But not for the cutlery of a big restaurant, for parts. Cuda products remove grease and grime from parts to keep technicians and mechanics doing more important work.

Spraymart - Largest supplier of pressure washer parts and accessories.

Shark - Offer heavy-duty durable industrial pressure washers with limited lifetime warranty on their chassis and frame. Use Honda engines in all their pressure washers. In addition to pressure washers they offer accessories, detergents and trailer mounted units.

Through Acquisition of Castle Rock Industries Inc. (June 21, 2006)

Karcher acquired Castle Rock Industries Inc. from Heritage Partners (now named: New Heritage Capital LLC) for an undisclosed amount in June 2006.

Heritage LLC is a Boston private equity firm. With this sale their portfolio lost a top 3 manufacturer of professional cleaning equipment, supplies and parts. And Karcher North America completed their North American operating subsidiary.

With the purchase Karcher obtained the brands Windsor, Prochem, Century 400, TecServ and Graco.

Karcher North America Brands Via Castle Rock Industries Inc.

Windsor - Manufacturer of commercial cleaning products: sweepers, extractors, scrubbers, vacuums and speciality surface cleaning equipment.

Prochem - Supplier of equipment, accessories and chemicals for the carpet care industry.

Century 400 - Essentially, Century 400 supplies heavy-duty vacuums that are portable. They call them carpet extractors.

TecServ - Repair services, maintenance and rentals for floor scrubbers, vacuums, pressure washers, compactors, floor buffers and generators.

Graco - “The leading supplier of aftermarket repair and replacement parts for commercial floor care equipment.” Everything from batteries and motors to filters and valves.

Sources and Further Reading

  1. C-Tech Industries Inc“. Answers.com. Information retrieved 2014-June-3.
  2. Alfred Karcher GmbH & Co KG“. Answers.com. Info retrieved 2014-June-3.
  3. (June 21, 2006) “Castle Rock Industries Acquired by Alfred Karcher“. Cleanlink.com.
  4. (March 16, 2004) “German company buys C-Tech Industries“. Portland Business Journal. www.bizjournals.com/portland/.
  5. Hannes Saebert, CEO at Karcher North America, Inc.” Linkedin.com. Info retrieved 2014-June-3.
  6. (June 21, 2006) “Heritage Partners Sells Castle Rock Industries To Alfred Karcher GmbH; Investment Employed Private IPO(R) Structure“. Businesswire.com.
  7. Our Brands“. Karcher.com/usa/. Info retrieved 2014-June-3.
  8. The Best Karcher Pressure Washer“. Pressurecleanerreviews.com. Info retrieved 2014-June-2.
  9. Karcher“. Wikipedia.org. Info retrieved 2014-May-10