In another sign of its interest in the natural refrigerants sector, Japanese multinational air-conditioning giant Daikin has announced the acquisition of Austrian commercial refrigeration firm AHT Cooling Systems for €881m (JPY 114.5 bn).
Daikin – the world’s largest manufacturer of air conditioning equipment – expects to complete the acquisition in January 2019. The Japanese firm said the deal would enable it to, “propose total systems that cover the entire cold chain,” while also expanding its refrigeration business in the United States and Asia.
Having opted for propane in the 1990s, AHT Cooling Systems GmbH remains committed to this natural refrigerant as a means of reducing the energy consumption and environmental impact of its refrigerated and frozen food display cabinets.
AHT already has over one million propane-based cabinets operating in the market worldwide. “We think propane is the best solution on the market for supermarket units,” Reinhold Resch, the firm’s vice-president (R&D), told this website in an exclusive interview last year .
In February, Daikin Europe NV acquired Spanish CO2 system developer Tewis. Daikin acquired Zanotti, the Italian air-conditioner manufacturer, in 2016.
1.3 billion EUR globally by 2025
In a statement provided to this website Daikin elaborated on its acquisition of AHT and its view on the use of natural refrigerants going forward.
Asked if the company intends to grow its natural refrigerant portfolio with the acquisition, Daikin’s Noda Hisano said, “We plan to use natural refrigerants in applications where CO2 and propane can be used, such as in our refrigeration and freezer equipment businesses in Europe.”
Hisano is a representative from the Public Relations Group of Daikin Industries’ Corporate Communications Office in Osaka, Japan.
“However, there is no ideal refrigerant suitable for all types of equipment. Going forward, we will evaluate the global warming impact for each type of equipment in various ways including, safety, energy efficiency, cost, as well as the possibility of refrigerant reclaim and replacement.
Hisano added, “Our objectives will not change with the acquisition of AHT. Going forward, we will continue to search for the optimum refrigerant for each device in each application.”
Asked if there will be any changes to AHTs strategy or operations, Hisano answered, “Because the Daikin Group is entering the showcase business as a new entrant, the AHT management team, who is already familiar with the market, will continue to lead and aim for growth and expansion.”
Daikin stated in its original press release that it intends “to become a one-stop provider of refrigerators, freezers, and air conditioning equipment to major food retailers.”
Hisano echoed this saying, “As a company, it is not about expanding the showcase business alone, but rather the entire cold chain.”
“We want to demonstrate the synergies throughout the entire store space by proposing total solutions that include air conditioning equipment.”
“By 2025, we aim to do about 170 billion yen (1.3 billion EUR) with our refrigeration and freezer equipment business globally.”
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