The history of Colfax Corporation.

Our bold beginnings.

Voice of the customer: People, Tools, Process: Safety, Quality, Delivery, Cost, Growth

Colfax Corporation was started in 1995 by Steven and Mitchell Rales, two brothers who had previously created Danaher Corporation, growing it from a group of discrete manufacturing businesses to a leading science and technology innovator with a market value of more than $100 billion.

Embracing the successful Danaher approach, the Colfax team embarked on a journey to build a world-class global enterprise by acquiring good businesses and improving and expanding them to create great businesses. Their first acquisitions, including IMO Industries, Inc. and Allweiler AG, joined together to become a high-performance pumps company called Colfax Fluid Handling.

Adopting the proven principles of continuous improvement, Colfax developed the Colfax Business System (CBS), based on the Danaher Business System and Toyota Production System, as the company’s operating model. CBS became the foundation of Colfax’s culture, and its implementation set the stage for rapid growth in the decades to follow.

Dramatic growth and diversification.

Entering the new millennium, Colfax was poised for significant expansion, which it successfully achieved through organic growth and complementary acquisitions.

At the beginning of 2012, Colfax became a diversified industrial company via the acquisition of Charter International plc. Charter brought to Colfax two premier global franchises – ESAB and Howden – and created a multi-platform enterprise providing solutions to customers around the world.

By 2015, Colfax had significantly grown its revenue to more than $3 billion (from less than $250 million in 2000) and appointed Matthew Trerotola as CEO – Mr. Trerotola continues to be Colfax’s CEO today. The company also solidified its corporate capabilities with strong talent processes, a powerful business system, and a disciplined acquisition engine. Between 2015 and 2019, this dynamic combination powered margin and growth improvements, and it was a driving force behind the addition of 15 new businesses, strengthening and expanding Colfax’s three global platforms.

Our transformation.

Colfax | Creating better together

In a compelling next step that marked a pivotal point in the company’s journey, Colfax made a significant investment and acquired orthopedic solutions leader DJO in 2019.  This bold acquisition created the company’s new medical technology platform, providing Colfax with a tremendous runway for growth aligned with healthcare trends around the world.

The company divested the more cyclical parts of its portfolio – Colfax Fluid Handling and Howden – after driving substantial growth and improvements.

Now, Colfax operates through two powerhouse platforms: Fabrication Technology (ESAB) and Medical Technology (DJO).  Both have substantial opportunity for improvement, growth, and expansion.

In addition to this significant portfolio shift, Colfax strengthened its innovation focus by investing in digital solutions that can strengthen and deepen the relationship that our businesses have with their customers. In Med Tech, these investments include connected medicine that can dramatically improve medicine’s reach and a patient’s experience. In Fab Tech, we are creating digital welding and cutting solutions that improve quality, reliability, and productivity.

As we enter a new decade, Colfax is stronger than ever. Colfax launched a new brand for the company in 2019. The new logo is represented by an infinity “O” letter and conveys collaboration, innovation, and continuous improvement – the same values that have been the foundation of the Colfax Business System for more than 20 years. This logo is complemented by a new purpose: Creating Better Together. This purpose – our commitment to continuous improvement in everything we do – is what makes Colfax unique.

Bright future.

As a multi-platform enterprise of market-leading businesses, Colfax is focused on compounding shareholder value through a relentless focus on talent, CBS continuous improvement, and investments in acquisitions and innovations that improve and expand our company.

Guided by our purpose of creating better together, we intend to:

  • Build a multi-billion-dollar med tech platform
  • Continue to outperform industry growth in fab tech
  • Pursue continuous improvement in operating margins across our portfolio
  • Realize strong cash conversion to support proactive investment in acquisitions
  • Diversify and strengthen our portfolio through innovation and bolt-on acquisitions
  • Attract, develop, and empower extraordinary talent


Meet our leadership team.

Today, our leadership team continues to embrace the Colfax Business System to propel our businesses forward and seek new strategic opportunities for growth.