Dometic Buys Iconic Cooler Maker

A picture of Igloo's National Parks Playmate cooler. Dometic bought Igloo in September 2021

Dometic’s eighth acquisition in 2021 brings the most recognizable consumer brand yet into the supplier’s fold.

Dometic acquired Igloo Products Corp., the Texas-based cooler maker, for $677 million. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter. Dometic called the acquisition a major step in the company’s strategy to continue its outdoor industry growth.

“This is a very important step for us,” said Juan Vargues, president and CEO of Dometic. “This is opening a new idea for us. We see Igloo as another growth platform that will help us to penetrate the outdoor market. We are becoming more and more of an outdoor lifestyle company every day.”

The acquisition continues a string of deals that have brought companies including Valterra Products and Zamp Solar into the Dometic fold in 2021. Dometic had 6,500 employees worldwide before the acquisition.

“Our strategy for profitable expansion is built on a combination of organic and acquisitive growth,” Vargues said. “This is our eighth acquisition this year and our pipeline of potential future acquisitions remains strong.”

Igloo has 1,100 employees, including 600 to 700 in manufacturing, and grew sales 24% in the past 12 months to $401 million. The company had been owned by the private equity group ACON Investments, which acquired Igloo in 2014.

“I am extremely proud of everyone on our team who has worked so hard in building Igloo into an iconic American brand,” said Dave Allen, president and CEO of Igloo. “As part of the Dometic Group, we look forward to combining our resources in order to accelerate innovation and growth across the globe.”

Founded in 1947, Igloo has 92% of net sales in the U.S. and products available in more than 90,000 retail stores globally. Igloo will continue to operate under its existing brands, Dometic said.

“Igloo is an iconic American brand,” Vargues said. “The reason for the acquisition is to get access to distribution, to get a fantastic brand to help, on one side, Dometic. On the other side, to offer Igloo a global platform they are lacking today.”

Vargues said it is important to remember each brand will remain separate. Consumers will not go to Dometic’s website to buy Igloo products he said; they will go to Igloo’s website.

The acquisition will bring Dometic’s OEM share of overall business to 44%, down from 61% when Vargues came on board in 2018. After the deal, Dometic will increase its aftermarket/service share to 31% with 25% in distribution. The company said the acquisition will reduce sales cyclicality for Dometic as the company broadens its sales exposure from “high ticket discretionary spend” to “low ticket discretionary spend.”

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