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Bristol Compressors announces closure

USA: Virginia-based air conditioning and refrigeration compressor manufacturer is to close its doors with the loss of 470 jobs.

The financially-troubled company announced yesterday that it will wind down operations at its plant in Bristol, Virginia, in the next 60 days.

There have been a succession of lay-offs in recent years at its 800,000ft² Bristol plant but a company spokesman said the most significant contributor to the closure was the failure of its business in the Middle East – the company had opened a sales office in the UAE in 2015.

Things had looked brighter at the beginning of this year when the company announced a “game changing” deal to develop new high efficiency compressors and systems with DHX Electric Machines.

Established in 1975, Bristol Compressors was once a subsidiary of York International. As demand for its compressors increased, the company added a plant in Sparta, North Carolina in 1994, but this closed in 2001.

Following York’s purchase by Johnson Controls in 2006, the Bristol business was acquired by investment company KPS Capital Partners. It was subsequently bought by current owners, the New York-based Garrison Investment Group, in 2012.

The company was also involved in the early development of scroll compressors.  In 1995, Bristol established Scroll Technologies in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, in a 50/50 joint venture with Carrier. That business was acquired by Danfoss in 2006.

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