Smart Care Equipment Solutions CEO Bill Emory has made the first of the deals he predicted last winter.
Downtown St. Paul-based Smart Care has acquired REMCO, an Alabama-based provider of commercial kitchen repair, maintenance services, and parts to the commercial food service industry
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“REMCO has become the stand-out leader in commercial kitchen equipment service in the southeast…” said Emory. “As we got to know their team it became clear we share the same vision, values and commitment to both employees and customers. We are aligned i our ambition to build the premiere kitchen equipment care company in the country.”
The acquisition of REMCO is the first of a number acquisitions Smart Care intends to make over several years.The deal grows Smart Care’s technician team by approximately 10 percent to more than 550 nationwide. The acquisition also increases Smart Care’s reach into Alabama and widens coverage in neighboring states of Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida.
REMCO is a $12.5 million-revenue business that is the biggest commercial kitchen-repair outfit in the Southeast, with about 60 employees, Emory said. Its founders will continue to run the business.
Emory is spinning out Smart Care from its former parent, huge Ecolab. 
Ecolab last year sold its commercial kitchen-repair business to Audex Group, the private equity firm that buys corporate orphans and other small companies, invest in growth and sell them after several years or take them public. Ecolab is focusing on its cornerstone sanitation and water businesses.
Smart Care is a 900-plus employee-and-growing concern that should post revenue in excess of $200 million this year. CEO Emory, an Ecolab veteran who ran the business for several years, said last winter that Smart Care can be a $500 million-revenue concern within five years.
It already is one of the larger independent businesses based in St. Paul and recently moved to the refurbished Osborn370 entrepreneurial center, a former Ecolab headquarters tower.
Smart Care is the biggest player in the commercial kitchen equipment maintenance-and-repair business, a highly fragmented industry estimated at about $7.5 billion in sales.

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