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Published in Manufacturing
Captain's Pool Float by Big Joe Captain's Pool Float by Big Joe COURTESY PHOTO

Comfort Research acquires Toronto-based water toy, equipment manufacturer

BY Tuesday, February 08, 2022 05:11pm

GRAND RAPIDS — A maker of interior and exterior furniture has significantly expanded its line of pool floats and toys through a recent acquisition.

Comfort Research LLC, which is headquartered in Grand Rapids and the business behind the Big Joe brand of furniture, announced Monday that it has closed on a deal to acquire the outdoor portfolio for Toronto-based toy and game company Spin Master Ltd.

Big Joe produces a line of pool floats and poolside furniture alongside a selection of affordable and lightweight furniture.

With the acquisition, Comfort Research gains manufacturing operations in Tarboro, N.C., which includes a 268,000-square-foot manufacturing plant and a 90,000-square-foot distribution facility. The company has extended an invitation for employees at both facilities to stay on with the company.

Comfort Research also now owns the rights to the product line in Spin Master’s outdoor portfolio, which includes the oversized pool noodles called Mega Noodles and pool toy Aqua Rider Squirter.

The portfolio also includes Aqua Cell technology, which is resistant to ultraviolet rays, weather and water absorption.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“This acquisition immediately expands our portfolio of swim products to meet the significant growth in demand from our customers and end consumers,” Comfort Research CEO Jeff Werner said in a statement. “At Comfort Research, we have a history of delivering indoor and outdoor products to the largest retailers in the world and to an ever expanding direct to consumer channel.” 

Comfort Research was founded in 1997 and employs 275 people across three production plants.

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