Cleaning chemicals giant Ecolab Inc. will acquire the England-based food hygiene and cleaning products firm Holchem Group Limited for an undisclosed price, officials said Wednesday.

Holchem operates in the United Kingdom and Ireland and reported $56 million in revenue last year. The deal must first receive regulatory approval; it is expected to close in early 2019.

"Holchem's strong technical capabilities and service model align well with Ecolab's commitment to helping customers uphold stringent food safety standards," said Sam de Boo, Ecolab general manager for food and beverage and Nalco Water in Europe. "We look forward to combining our teams to better serve food and beverage and food service customers in Ireland, the U.K. and throughout Europe."

St. Paul-based Ecolab generates about $14 billion a year in sales selling cleaning, sanitizing and fluid separation chemicals and services to the hospitality industry, hospitals and oil companies. In January, Ecolab bought the small New York-based water-treatment firm Cascade Water Services Inc., which generated about $35 million in annual revenue. Other acquisitions included the Scottish sanitizing-products firm Arpal Group; three U.S.-based pest-elimination firms; Florida-based UltraClenz; and the paper-chemicals business of Georgia-Pacific.