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Slough branch HRP

HRP Group’s technical centre in Slough

UK: Swedish refrigeration wholesaling group Beijer Ref has confirmed its acquisition of the remaining shares in UK wholesaler HRP.

The acquisition of HRP Ltd, which has its head office in Rougham and operates 15 branches  nationwide, confirms Beijer Ref as the market leader in the UK and further strengthens its position in Europe.

A company statement says that HRP will act as a complement to the Group’s existing UK refrigeration wholesalers, Dean & Wood and RW Refrigeration Wholesale.

The acquisition of the remaining 56% of HRP seemed inevitable following the death of HRP chairman and main shareholder Kingsley Curtis in September.

Beijer Ref acquired its initial interest in HRP in 2009 when it acquired Carrier Corporation’s refrigeration wholesale operation in Europe and South Africa.

Founded in 1945 as Headlands Refrigerator Parts, HRP has 170 employees and annual sales of around €54m. One of the original “big three” wholesalers, HRP remains a leading refrigeration wholesaler in the UK. It has a broad product range comprising around 10,000 products that include leading brand names such as Samsung, Toshiba, Danfoss, Copeland, Lawton, BOC, Aspera and L’Unite. The Mitsubishi Heavy Industries air conditioning distributor 3D Air Sales is also part of the HRP Group.

Beijer Ref maintains that HRP has experienced profitability problems in recent years but sees good opportunities for reversing the trend through the efficient co-ordination with the Group’s existing UK refrigeration operations and by implementing a fully-comprehensive UK logistics network.

“The three companies will continue to operate under their respective brands. However, through the joint group affiliation, we will be able to offer even better service and more efficient logistics, which improves our total offer in a competitive market,” said Beijer Ref CEO Per Bertland.

HRP Shareholder, Yvonne Curtis said: “The Board of HRP believes that becoming full members of the Beijer Ref team in the UK represents the best opportunity for the future development of HRP. With the skills and resources of a larger group behind us we will be better placed to address the new markets opening up in our business.”

With the acquisition, Beijer Ref’s three UK companies will report sales of more than SEK1.3bn.

As a result, the UK will be Beijer Ref’s largest market in Europe after France. The parties have signed a binding agreement as of today and the takeover will take place on January 1.