Aqua-Hot sells, prepares management transition

FREDERICK  — Aqua-Hot Heating Systems Inc. is preparing for a management shift after a private equity-backed competitor acquired it earlier this year.

Aqua-Hot president and CEO Paul Harter told BizWest that Wichita, Kansas-based Airxcel Inc. purchased the Frederick-based RV heater maker in May. 

Airxcel is a holding company for several manufacturers of different RV parts. Aqua-Hot will retain its name and all 38 of its employees as part of the deal. It will also continue producing all of its parts in the state.

Harter said the deal allows Airxcel to use Aqua-Hot’s branding as a premium heating system to market some of its higher-end products.

“A big one for them is brand placement and brand support,” he said. “We’ve always gone to market as a premier product, and we’ve sold on quality of our product, service quality of life for the RV owner, rather than the price, and they’re really anxious to establish that same kind of branding with some of their premier products.”

Airxcel is owned by L Catteron LP, a private equity firm based in Connecticut. Harter said the company’s board is meeting with the firm Tuesday afternoon to discuss finalizing Aqua-Hot’s transition into Airxcel.

Harter will remain at Aqua-Hot through the end of the year in a training and consulting role for new management.

FREDERICK  — Aqua-Hot Heating Systems Inc. is preparing for a management shift after a private equity-backed competitor acquired it earlier this year.

Aqua-Hot president and CEO Paul Harter told BizWest that Wichita, Kansas-based Airxcel Inc. purchased the Frederick-based RV heater maker in May. 

Airxcel is a holding company for several manufacturers of different RV parts. Aqua-Hot will retain its name and all 38 of its employees as part of the deal. It will also continue producing all of its parts in the state.

Harter said the deal allows Airxcel to use Aqua-Hot’s branding as a premium heating system to market some of its higher-end products.

“A big one for them is brand placement and brand support,” he said. “We’ve always gone to market as a premier product, and we’ve sold on quality of our product, service quality of life for the RV owner, rather than the price, and they’re really anxious to establish that same kind of branding with some of their premier products.”

Airxcel is owned by L Catteron LP, a private equity firm based in Connecticut. Harter said the company’s board is meeting with the firm Tuesday afternoon to discuss finalizing Aqua-Hot’s transition into Airxcel.

Harter will remain at Aqua-Hot through the end of the year in a training and consulting role for new management.