AxFlow enters Australia and New Zealand by acquiring Brown Brothers/Kelair

AxFlow Holding AB, has acquired Brown Brothers/Kelair, the market-leading distributor of positive displacement and centrifugal pumps in Australia and New Zealand. The Group operates through 15 locations across Australia and New Zealand.

The acquisition is the next step in AxFlow’s geographic expansion outside Europe, after the successful acquisition of AQS in South Africa, 2016. “The acquisition gives AxFlow great opportunities for sales growth in Australia and New Zealand, as well as a strong platform for growth in Oceania,” says AxFlow CEO Ole Weiner.

Headquartered in Christchurch, N.Z., Brown Brothers/Kelair sells centrifugal and positive displacement pumps to users and resellers in industrial segments and utility pumps to agriculture and municipalities. The Group’s leading position as a distributor of centrifugal pumps in Oceania is strengthened by its long relationship with Xylem, the global market leader in centrifugal pumps.

Ole Weiner sees the market for positive displacement and centrifugal pumps in Australia and New Zealand as very attractive, with considerable growth prospects. “Australia and New Zealand combine good business climate with healthy growth rates,” he says, adding that as a leading distributor in fragmented market, with a multi-regional and nationwide presence, as well as a well-established service and installation business, Brown Brothers/Kelair are a very good strategic fit with AxFlow’s existing business.

Brown Brothers Engineers was established in 1908 in New Zealand by Alfred and Phillip Brown. In the early years, the company specialized in electrical engineering and diversified into pumps after 1915. In 1980, Brown Brothers became a member of the Mace Group of Companies. It acquired Sydney-based Kelair in 2004. The Mace Group is a second-generation family company lead by Ted Mace, Chairman of the Board.

“I am glad to hand over the ownership to AxFlow, with its long-term ownership view and strong values,” says Ted Mace. “It will present new opportunities for the group and its employees and be a reliable partner for our customers for many years to come.”

John Inkster, CEO, Brown Brothers and Kelair Pumps, will continue to run the company after the acquisition. “We see a very good match between the Brown Brothers and AxFlow management culture,” Weiner says. “This is crucial to our ambition to keep people with local expertise in place, while giving the acquired company the opportunities that come with being part of a larger group.”

For further information, please contact:

Ole Weiner, CEO of AxFlow Holding, 
+46 (0)8 545 476 72,

Lars Carlson, CFO of AxFlow Holding, 
+46 (0)702 74 05 35,

AxFlow, the Fluid Handling Solutions business group within Axel Johnson International, specialises in the marketing, distribution and provision of a complete sales engineering services for high quality fluid handling equipment. AxFlow serves customers in the food-, chemical- & petrochemical-, water & waste water-, pharmaceutical-, pulp & paper-, mining- and ceramics industries with equipment from world leading manufacturers. High standards of technical competence, a comprehensive range of products and services, commitment and integrity have contributed to the company’s steady growth since its establishment in 1989. The AxFlow Group is active in 29 countries; it has approximately 600 employees and an annual turnover of 180 MEUR.

Axel Johnson International is a privately owned Swedish industrial group of more than 100 companies in 25 countries, with combined annual sales of EUR 790 million. We drive business development and growth through a long-term approach to ownership in strategic niche markets, primarily technical components and solutions for industrial processes. Axel Johnson International is organised in four business groups: Fluid Handling Solutions, Industrial Solutions, Lifting Solutions and Transport Solutions.

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