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About Ecolab Inc.

Ecolab cleans up by cleaning up. The company offers cleaning, sanitation, pest-elimination, and maintenance products and services to the energy, healthcare, hospitality, and industrial sectors, among others. Its cleaning and sanitizing operations serve hotels, schools, commercial and institutional laundries, and quick-service restaurants. Other units focus on products for textile care, water care, healthcare, food and beverage processing, and pest control. It also makes chemicals used in water treatment for industrial processes, including in the paper and energy industries. The US is Ecolab's largest market, accounting for more than 50% of revenue.


Ecolab provides cleaning and sanitizing programs and products, equipment repair, and pest elimination for markets such as food service, food and beverage processing, chemical processing, oil and gas production, healthcare, government and education, and textile care.

Ecolab's chemicals and services are used in water treatment, pollution control, oil and gas, steelmaking, papermaking, mining, and other industrial processes. It is also one of the top suppliers of chemical dishwashing products to institutions in the US.

Ecolab has three operating segments: Global Industrial (consisting of the Global Water, Global Food & Beverage, Global Paper, and Global Textile Care operating units); Global Institutional (Global Institutional, Global Specialty, and Global Healthcare operating units); and Global Energy (operating under the Nalco Champion name).

The Global Industrial segment (accounting for more than 35% of sales) provides water treatment and cleaning and sanitizing services to large industrial clients in the chemical, commercial laundry, food, manufacturing, and paper industries. Global Institutional also generates around 35% of sales and Global Energy accounts for about 25% of sales.

Geographic Reach

St. Paul, Minnesota-based Ecolab has broad reach across the world, operating in more than 170 countries. The US accounts for about 50% of the company's total revenue. Europe accounts for about 20%, the Asia/Pacific region around 15%; Latin America less than 10%, the Middle East and Africa 5%, and Canada 5%.

Sales and Marketing

Ecolab serves customers in a range of segments including buildings and facilities, chemical processing, education, facility care, food and beverage processing, food retail, foodservice, government, healthcare, lodging, and oil and gas.

Some of Ecolab's products are sold to distributors, agents, or licensees. Deliveries to customers are made from manufacturing plants and a network of distribution centers and third-party logistics service providers, using common carriers, Ecolab's own delivery vehicles, and distributors' vehicles.

Financial Performance

After hitting a peak of $14.3 billion in revenue in 2014, Ecolab's sales tailed off in the next two years. But Ecolab's revenue grew in 2017 and again in 2018, when it posted record revenue, through organic growth and contributions from acquisitions.

In 2018, revenue rose 6% to about $14.7 billion, up about $900 million from 2017, driven by higher sales in each segment and geographic region. Overall, Ecolab sold more products and services at higher prices in 2018 compared to 2017. Acquisitions also contributed to the company's sales increase. 

Net income slipped to $1.4 billion in 2018 from $1.5 billion in 2017 due to charges for restructuring, acquisition-related activities, and the company's commitment to the Ecolab Foundation.

Ecolab had about $294 million in cash in 2018 compared to $211 million the year before. In 2018, operations generated $2.3 billion, while investing activities used about $1 billion and financing activities used about $1.2 billion.

The company has a sizable debt load of about $7 billion, which could require diverting cash flow from operations to pay principal and interest. That could reduce the amount of money available for acquisitions and capital investment as well as limit its flexibility in reacting to changes in business and market conditions.



Acquisition has been a growth engine for Ecolab, spreading its reach and expanding line of products and services to provide water processing management to food and beverage, hospitality, and laundry customers worldwide. In 2018 and 2019, the company extended its offerings and enlarged its footprint in Europe with the acquisitions of Holchem in Germany and Bioquell in the UK.

Ecolab's 2020 growth strategy rests on integrating digital into its back end and products and positioning the company as a desirable destination for talent. To reach those goals, Ecolab is restructuring to simplify and automate processes and tasks, reduce complexity and management layers, consolidate facilities, and focus on long-term growth areas. The company expects savings to total $325 million by 2021.

The company plans to spin off its Upstream Energy business composed of the WellChem and Oil Field Chemicals businesses into an independent publicly traded company by mid-2020. The upstream business has an increasingly different business model than the rest of Ecolab and the company believes that two, more focused companies would better serve their customers. The upstream business had sales of about $2.4 billion in 2018.

With trade tensions in global markets, Ecolab may suffer from higher raw material costs needed for its products that include an array of organic and inorganic chemicals.

Mergers and Acquisitions

In 2019 Ecolab closed on its acquisition of Bioquell, a provider of hydrogen peroxide vapor bio-decontamination systems and services for the life sciences and healthcare industries. Based in the UK, Bioquell's 2017 sales were approximately £29 million.

Ecolab acquired food hygiene and cleaning products firm Holchem Group in 2018. The company serves food and beverage and food service customers in Ireland, the U.K. and mainland European countries. It made $56 million in revenue last year. Financial details were not disclosed. 

In 2017 Ecolab acquired Laboratoires Anios from co-owners Bertrand and Thierry Letartre and private investment company Ardian for about $800 million. Anios is a European manufacturer and marketer of hygiene and disinfection products for the healthcare, food service, and food and beverage processing industries. Based in Lille, France, Anios has a presence in more than 85 countries. Anios' innovative product line expands the solutions Ecolab can offer while also providing a complementary geographic footprint.

Also in 2017, the company acquired Abednego Environmental Services a Novi, Michigan-based provider of water services for automotive customers. The acquisition adds to the suite of products and services Ecolab provides to automobile manufacturers to re-cycle water, reduce energy use, and reduce waste.

Ecolab Inc.

Saint Paul, MN 55102-2739
Phone: 1 (800) 232-6522

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Publicly Owned
Stock Symbol: ECL
Stock Exchange: , NYSE
Chairman and CEO: Douglas M. Baker
President and COO: Thomas W. Handley
Senior Procurement Manager: Dick Opseth
Employees (This Location): 1,400
Employees (All Locations): 49,000

Major Office Locations

Saint Paul, MN

Other Locations

Anchorage, AK
Bay Minette, AL
Montgomery, AL
Little Rock, AR
Phoenix, AZ
Scottsdale, AZ
Bakersfield, CA
City Of Industry, CA
Colton, CA
Foster City, CA
Huntington Beach, CA
Los Alamitos, CA
Martinez, CA
Oakland, CA
Richmond, CA
San Ramon, CA
Trona, CA
Westlake Village, CA
Arvada, CO
Denver, CO
Rifle, CO
Windsor Locks, CT
New Castle, DE
Jacksonville, FL
Miami, FL
Miramar, FL
Oakland Park, FL
Orlando, FL
Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Palm City, FL
Pinellas Park, FL
Wesley Chapel, FL
Mcdonough, GA
Wailuku, HI
Cedar Rapids, IA
Coeur D Alene, ID
Chatham, IL
Chicago, IL
East Saint Louis, IL
Elk Grove Village, IL
Joliet, IL
Mount Carmel, IL
Mount Vernon, IL
Naperville, IL
Palos Heights, IL
Salem, IL
Carmel, IN
Chesterton, IN
Fishers, IN
Huntington, IN
Portage, IN
Warren, IN
El Dorado, KS
Hays, KS
Paducah, KY
Paris, KY
Baton Rouge, LA
Broussard, LA
Frierson, LA
Garyville, LA
Lafayette, LA
Metairie, LA
New Orleans, LA
Scott, LA
Zachary, LA
Northborough, MA
Norwood, MA
Wilmington, MA
Frederick, MD
Novi, MI
Cranberry Township, MN
Dickerson, MN
Duluth, MN
Eagan, MN
Minnetonka, MN
New Castle, MN
Plymouth, MN
Rogers, MN
Saint Paul, MN
San Antonio, MN
Theodore, MN
Kansas City, MO
Ozark, MO
Saint Louis, MO
Wildwood, MO
Columbus, MS
Laurel, MS
Richland, MS
Sidney, MT
Belmont, NC
Charlotte, NC
Greensboro, NC
Winston Salem, NC
Dickinson, ND
Grand Forks, ND
Williston, ND
Lincoln, NE
Clinton, NJ
Moorestown, NJ
Aztec, NM
Hobbs, NM
Las Vegas, NV
Auburn, NY
Cheektowaga, NY
Glens Falls, NY
Hicksville, NY
New York, NY
Saratoga Springs, NY
Cincinnati, OH
Lebanon, OH
Louisville, OH
Healdton, OK
Oklahoma City, OK
Tulsa, OK
Weatherford, OK
Camp Hill, PA
Ellwood City, PA
Monaca, PA
Philadelphia, PA
Pittsburgh, PA
Edgefield, SC
Mount Pleasant, SC
Franklin, TN
Kingsport, TN
Beaumont, TX
Denver City, TX
Fresno, TX
Garland, TX
Grapevine, TX
Haltom City, TX
Houston, TX
Kilgore, TX
Midland, TX
Odessa, TX
Pearland, TX
Pflugerville, TX
San Antonio, TX
Sugar Land, TX
Texarkana, TX
Tyler, TX
Vernal, UT
Bristol, VA
Chesterfield, VA
Spokane, WA
Tacoma, WA
Vancouver, WA
Wausau, WI
Charleston, WV
Martinsburg, WV
Casper, WY
Thermopolis, WY
Beijing, China
Guangzhou, China
Qingdao, China
Shanghai, China
Agrate Brianza, Italy
Copiano, Italy
Lucca, Italy
Milano, Italy
Montebelluna, Italy
Nichelino, Italy
Priolo Gargallo, Italy
Rovigo, Italy
Rozzano, Italy
Vimercate, Italy
Burlington, Canada
Calgary, Canada
Cornwall, Canada
Delta, Canada
Drayton Valley, Canada
Fort Mcmurray, Canada
Kitchener, Canada
Leduc, Canada
Lloydminster, Canada
Longueuil, Canada
Mississauga, Canada
Moncton, Canada
Montréal, Canada
Nisku, Canada
Prince George, Canada
Québec, Canada
Sarnia, Canada
Saskatoon, Canada
Toronto, Canada
Cherepovets, Russia
Lipetsk, Russia
Nassau, Bahamas
Brussel, Belgium
Dilbeek, Belgium
Seoul, South Korea
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic