Changing of the guard at Tru Pools


Tuesday, 22 May, 2018

Changing of the guard at Tru Pools

Sydney aftermarket business Tru Pools, owned and managed by the Guthrie family for more than 50 years, is joining the Poolwerx system.

Retail outlets in Roseville and Turramurra — along with eight mobile service units — have been acquired by Poolwerx Franchise Partners David Cameron and Malcolm Price. Cameron and Price have well-established operations in Lane Cove and Killara respectively. They now have four stores and 22 vans between them, making Poolwerx the industry’s dominant presence from upstream of the bridge to the Upper North Shore.

“I have admired the Tru Pools operation and Rob Guthrie personally for going on 20 years, and our businesses have always had similar attitudes and values. Then we had David and Malcolm at the right stage of their enterprise development and keen to purchase, so it was a natural, easy fit,” said Poolwerx CEO John O’Brien (pictured).

O’Brien emphasised the simplicity of the deal.

“One of our jobs as franchisor is to facilitate sales and acquisitions as people enter and leave our system — and Rob has been in the pool and spa aftermarket all his working life (and president of SPASA NSW/ACT for the past eight years). So everyone had a good read on value, and realistic expectations, and Rob was especially pleased that his employees and clients would continue to be well looked after under the Poolwerx banner. Meantime, David and Malcolm gain new efficiencies of scale and Poolwerx continues to grow its brand presence and network strength,” he said.

O’Brien said his team is eager to talk to independents and small networks with a view either to acquisition or partnering under the Poolwerx umbrella — which now comprises 140 stores and almost 500 mobile units in ANZ and the USA.

“There are a couple of scenarios that work. You have people like Rob who are keen to move onto their next life phase but realise that they are a big part of the value of the business personally. So realising the enterprise value of their many years of hard work means figuring out how to remove themselves from the business seamlessly. Our brand qualities and systems fill that gap.

“Then you have independents happy to continue on for some time but who realise that they need a reliable exit strategy. Poolwerx adds profitability, capital value and a sense of certainty. All of a sudden it’s the business itself that has identity and purpose rather than (solely) the person behind it.

“With the training and support we provide to franchise partners, we have the unique ability to attract people from outside the industry and give them the skills needed to run the business successfully. That opens up a whole new pool of purchasers,” O’Brien said.

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