Daikin Industries Ltd. has reached an agreement for the acquisition of Austria-based AHT Group, a commercial refrigeration company in Europe. Completion of the acquisition is planned for January 2019.
In the strategic management plan "Fusion 20," Daikin has established priority measures to expand its commercial refrigeration business and capitalize on environmental regulations relating to energy savings and refrigerants. In Europe, the company has been selling highly efficient refrigeration and freezing systems for supermarkets and convenience stores since 2000. In 2016, Daikin acquired Italian commercial refrigeration manufacturer, Zanotti, extending its business to industrial refrigeration equipment for food processing and warehouse storage in addition to refrigeration equipment used in shipping such as marine containers and overland trucks and vans. AHT develops, manufactures, and sells refrigerating and freezing showcases specifically suited for food retailers.
Offering plug-in type showcases, AHT leads the market through its active launch of new products corresponding to evolving store layouts. With this acquisition, Daikin is adding AHT showcases to its own wide range of products, services, and solutions, which will enable the company to become a one-stop provider, offering complete coordination of air conditioning and refrigeration products. This acquisition is also expected to solidify Daikin's business foundation in Europe and promote full-scale expansion of its refrigeration business in the United States, as well as Asia.
The refrigeration business presents great opportunities for Daikin to utilize the advanced technologies it has cultivated including energy-saving inverters and refrigerant controls. Because the refrigeration business shares a close affinity with the company's main business of air conditioning, Daikin expects to achieve synergies with current operations. The company intends to offer new value with service solutions focused on energy and the environment as it works to make its own unique contribution to resolving global issues.
In addition to conventional products, Daikin aims to incorporate AHT's showcases in its offering and approach retail customers as it strives to expand its own customer base. Moreover, the services extending from equipment installation, commissioning, to maintenance will be further strengthened. In addition to the overall design of stores including showcases, low temperature storage, and air conditioning, Daikin aims to expand its solutions business, which includes remote control and monitoring, failure prediction, and proposals for optimum control for multiple stores management.
In addition to air conditioning, heating, and applied systems, Daikin will be able to propose total systems that cover the entire cold chain ranging from food product management to climate comfort of stores as it works to further strengthen its business as a comprehensive air conditioning and refrigeration manufacturer.