Ecolab's big jump in an IndustryWeek ranking is the result of the company's acquisition of Nalco, a producer of water-treatment chemicals. The company saw the acquisition as an opportunity because it caters to water-intensive industries such as the food sector. "We identified the need to have a leading water technology capability because of the markets we served, especially food production, food service and food distribution. This is a group of industries that consume a lot of water, and they were increasingly having trouble finding water, particularly in emerging markets," said Ecolab CEO Doug Baker.

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