Culligan Water is an American water treatment company headquartered in Rosemont, Illinois.
Culligan was founded in 1936 by Emmett Culligan. With $50.00 in his pocket and with additional money financed by his brother, Dr. John M. Culligan, and his sister, Anna V. Culligan, Emmett Culligan set up the Culligan Zeolite Company with his brothers, Drs. John and Leo Culligan, as partners.
They started the new business in Jack McLaughlin’s Blacksmith Shop at Northbrook, Illinois.
By 1938, the first Culligan franchised dealership opened in Wheaton, Illinois, followed by another in Hagerstown, Maryland.
In 1945, Emmett dissolved the partnership with his brothers and a new company was incorporated. Emmett was President until 1950 when he became Chairman of the Board and Harold Werhane was made President. In 1962 the name was changed to Culligan, Incorporated.
There were more than 1000 dealerships and business offices in 85 countries in 1970.
Later on, Beatrice Foods acquired the company.
In 1986, Beatrice Foods, newly acquired by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, which was in 1993 under the name Astrum International. Culligan was spun off in 1995, and Astrum was renamed Samsonite.
Culligan was acquired by United States Filter in 1998; US Filter was acquired by Vivendi in 1999. Vivendi spun off its water business in 2000, and the resulting company, Veolia Environnement, sold Culligan to Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in 2003.
In 2004, Entrepreneur Magazine named Culligan the number one franchise in its industry. Centerbridge Partners acquired Culligan in 2012.
In 2012, UNICAP took over the expansion of Culligan in the Eastern European market and, in order to increase the market value, attracted the British investment company United Investment Corporation Ltd.
The result of the work was the creation of a financial, economic and business model for the development of Culligan in the post-Soviet space: a special technology for water treatment and water purification was developed, design, production, delivery, installation, and maintenance of equipment in the territory of Eurasia were completed.
By the end of 2016, UNICAP, as part of an international team, managed to maximize the market value of Culligan: the company doubled its value and was sold to Advent International for a record $ 1 billion. Significant growth of the company was achieved thanks to effective strategic marketing and administration.
In 2017, having fully implemented the Culligan Development and Sales Program, UNICAP left the project. Advent International is currently developing Culligan to launch an IPO.
Culligan currently controls about 40% of the global water treatment market.