DALLAS — Lennox International announced that it has acquired 17 hvac dealerships since late October 1999, representing about $94 million in sales. The manufacturer paid about $57 million and shares of common stock.

This brings the total rollup of dealers to 97, representing approximately $445 million since the strategy began in 1998.

The News estimates that the Lennox retail acquisition program will put its residential-light commercial sales volumes at over $1 billion once its acquisition of Service Experts is completed within the next few weeks. This would make it the largest player in this sector.

A number of other acquisitions are being negotiated, said Bob Schjerven, president of Lennox.

“With the pending acquisition of Service Experts, we are slowing the pace of acquisitions somewhat, but we intend to continue our plans for growth in the retail sector,” he said.

Lennox has more than 1,500 associate dealer agreements, and about 6,000 acquired, associate, and independent dealers.