Air conditioning pioneer Airwell sold off
FRANCE: On a sad day for the French air conditioning industry, troubled manufacturer Airwell has been split up and sold off by the receiver.
Swedish ventilation company Systemair has acquired the remaining vestige of pioneering air conditioning manufacturer Airwell France and Spanish manufacturer Hitecsa has acquired its Wesper air handling unit company.
Once Europe’s foremost air conditioning manufacturer, Airwell found it difficult to compete in the modern market and fell into administration in April this year.
The Systemair acquisition includes trademarks, product rights, sales organisation and the production facility in Tillières, near Paris, of Airwell France. The factory comprises 36,000m2 with 150 employees. The total number of employees including sales organisation is 207 people with an estimated annual turnover of €35m.
Confessing his satisfaction with the acquisition, Systemair CEO Gerald Engström said: “This gives us a complete range of air conditioning products for the commercial market.”
The deal represents a second bite of the apple for Systemair, the Swedish company having acquired Airwell’s Italian chiller factory in Milan, in 2011.
“We acquired the Italian production of chillers from Airwell three years ago and the activities complement one another,” commented Gerald Engström. “Thanks to our sales companies in 45 countries we will be able to increase our sales in the product area significantly.”
Meanwhile, Spanish manufacturer Hitecsa today announced that it had acquired Airwell’s Wesper air handling unit business and factory in Pons, south west France.
Established in 1947, Airwell produced its first window air conditioning unit in 1950 and introduced the first split system in Europe twenty years later. Last year, its Israeli owners Elco sold the business to the German investment group Dubag. Elco retained the Airwell residential heating business, which continues to trade and is not connected with this sale.