Carlyle buys disinfecting machine maker stake in COVID-19 bet

FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Carlyle Group is displayed at the company's office in Tokyo, Japan October 17, 2018. REUTERS/Issei Kato

(Reuters) - Carlyle Group Inc CG.O will acquire a majority stake in sanitizing machine maker Victory Innovations, the private equity firm said on Wednesday, betting that cleanliness will remain a top priority long after a COVID-19 vaccine is available.

Financial terms were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close in September.

Victory, based in Minneapolis, manufactures electrostatic spraying machines used to disinfect offices, airplanes, schools, and factories. The pandemic has boosted demand in this once-quiet niche industry whose customers use equipment that needs constant cleaning, such as industrial bakeries.

Victory in July said its shipments surged 10-fold since the start of the pandemic, to about 100,000 units a month.

Carlyle plans to expand into key global markets in Asia, Europe, Latin America, and Africa, it said in a statement. The current leadership will remain in place, a Victory spokesperson added.

Demand has surged for hand sanitizer, masks, thermometer guns and plexiglass with the coronavirus pandemic, and foggers and spraying machines are now commonly used in airports, sports arenas and subways.

Goodway Technologies Corp, which builds machines that spray an alcohol-infused mist to sanitize surfaces, is also attracting strong investor interest.

The Stamford, Connecticut-based company is “getting hammered” with calls from private equity companies, Chief Executive Timothy Kane said by email.

Reporting by Timothy Aeppel; Editing by Richard Chang