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feature Matt Adlam and Stephen Matysiak (right)

The new Fluidra explained continue=6&v=c-UHQRwQN4w In July Fluidra and Zodiac closed their merger, creating the new Fluidra Melbourne has obviously been very important for AstralPool. Is – the industry’s largest supplier. that going to continue to be important for the merged entity? Stephen Matysiak, Fluidra’s managing director Southern Hemisphere, and Matt Adlam, managing director Australia, discussed with SPLASH! MA: Absolutely. A $45 million plant – it’s a huge investment. the newly merged swimming pool equipment giant, and explained the And I think the Zodiac team is very excited about having local new structure and future plans. This video interview, one of a series manufacturing here. It’s something that has been ultimately recorded at SPLASH!, can be viewed at very important for us over the years, considering that local manufacturing is quite highly held – Australians are quite patriotic. And it makes us proud to be Australian and we want to continue SPLASH! What are the new roles for you, Matt and Jonas? down that track where possible, and where it makes sense. So it’s obviously relevant now and for many, many years. We think we’re SM: My role will be the managing director of the southern competitive with any manufacturing plant in the world, and I think hemisphere, which will include Australia, New Zealand, South Africa Australians embrace that as well – our customers particularly. and several Asian countries. Matt will be the managing director of the Australian business, and Jonas Ryberg will take the lead as SPLASH! Are the AstralPool and Zodiac brands marketing head for the Sohem [southern hemisphere] region as well. going to maintain their own presences?

SPLASH! What was the rationale for the merger?

SM: The intention is to run them as completely separate

SM: Ultimately I believe it boils down to Fluidra wanting to get

programs, and separate brands, and in essence, create our own competition. So both brands will continue and be grown. We do not intend to consolidate under the Fluidra company name.

access into the US market. Fluidra had for a number of years battled to get into that market. As well, Zodiac really didn’t have a strong portfolio of pumps and filters in Europe. Those were probably the two driving forces of the global merger.

MA: They’re both well respected brands which we absolutely want to continue.

SPLASH! There had been rumours that it wasn’t a

SPLASH! What is the timeline going forward?

true merger, that it was more of a takeover from one party or the other. But that’s not the case?

SM: We’ve got plans laid out until the end of 2019. The

SM: It really is a true merger and I think often that idea comes when there’s been a disparity in the sizes of the businesses around the world. Ultimately certain countries have bigger Fluidra facilities and certain countries have bigger Zodiac facilities. And often it’s the perception of the staff and the customers based on that dissimilar size [in a particular location]. But it really is a true merger. The board consists of independent members from Fluidra as well as independent members from Zodiac. And it’s actually quite a balanced portfolio. They’ve kept the numbers really at a 50-50 ratio.

MA: In Australia it’s a real blend. Some countries have got a real balance between AstralPool and Zodiac – and in Australia we’ve got a real merged approach as well, blending both parts of the business for best practice. Which is very exciting for us.

SPLASH! The Keysborough manufacturing facility in

biggest one is probably when we merge the ERP systems around about July next year. That’s probably when we’re really going to start becoming the ‘One Fluidra’.

SPLASH! Are there going to be job losses? SM: We don’t foresee any job losses. Actually, we implemented a headcount freeze across both businesses quite early on in the process, and we have a number of vacancies at the moment. So we’re actively recruiting now that the merger has closed we’re actually hiring more people, rather than making people redundant.

MA: There was a motto used in the merger was ‘one plus one equals more than two’, which says it in a nutshell. We’re looking to structure the company up to be the best, and you need good staff to do that. It’s not our intention to strip staff down. There will be changes of course, but it won’t affect our numbers at all. August/September 2018  SPLASH!  29

Profile for The Intermedia Group

SPLASH August - September 2018  

SPLASH! is the leading trade publication for the Australasian “wet industry”, incorporating the swimming pool, spa and aquatics industries....

SPLASH August - September 2018  

SPLASH! is the leading trade publication for the Australasian “wet industry”, incorporating the swimming pool, spa and aquatics industries....