Minneapolis Firm Buys Dexter Environmental Monitoring Equipment Maker

MINNEAPOLIS (WWJ) — Dexter-based QED Environmental Systems, a maker of environmental monitoring and remediation systems, has been purchased by Minneapolis-based Graco Inc.

Graco president and CEO Patrick McHale said QED operates “in attractive niche markets where Graco currently has little or no exposure.”

Graco (NYSE:GGG) also announced that it had purchased EcoQuip of Chesapeake, Va., which designs and produces environmentally friendly abrasive blasting systems for coating removal and surface preparation.

Said McHale: “We expect that the specialized fluid management products of QED and EcoQuip will benefit from Graco’s commitment to innovative new product development, an exposure to a global distribution channel, and the company’s expertise in manufacturing efficiencies.”

QED produces pump systems for groundwater sampling and remediation efforts; landfill liquid and gas management; and the removal of harmful chemicals from groundwater and drinking water supplies.

QED employs approximately 80 people between its Dexter headquarters and a plant in San Leandro, Calif.

Graco spokesman Bryce Norwood said most of those employees and the Dexter location would stick around under Graco ownership.

“This is a great business,” Norwood said. “It’s kind of a new market for us, and QED is a leader in it, and we’re looking forward to helping them grow the business.”

Norwood said QED pumps “operate in very challenging environments, groundwater remediation, landfills. If there’s a Superfund site, there’s probably a QED pump working on it.”

Norwood said Graco is a billion-dollar global business, and it’s hoping to make QED a global business as well.

Combined sales for the two acquisitions for the most recent trailing 12-month period were about $30 million. Other financial terms of the transactions were not disclosed.

More at http://www.graco.com or http://www.qedenv.com.

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