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GEA plans sale of Bock refrigeration business

The Bock plant in Frickenhausen

GERMANY: GEA is exploring a possible sale of its GEA Bock refrigeration compressor business.

The move is said to be part of GEA’s desire to focus on its strategic core markets – the food, chemical and pharmaceutical industries. As a result, the GEA Bock business, which is part of its Refrigeration Technologies division, will no longer be treated as a core business of the GEA Group. 

A sale is expected to take place next year. 

GEA Bock is a leading supplier of open and semi-hermetic piston compressors in the lower and medium refrigeration capacity range for stationary and transport-related cooling applications. The company employs around 300 people worldwide and generated sales of around €90m in 2018. Two-thirds of these employees work at the company’s headquarters in Frickenhausen, Germany. The company has three additional locations in the Czech Republic, India and China.

“GEA Bock as a reliable partner for its customers has a strong market position and is excellently positioned with its products,” claimed GEA CEO Stefan Klebert. 

He maintained that sales had increased significantly since becoming part of the GEA Group, but added: “Unfortunately, the synergies in the areas of portfolio, customers and development envisaged at the time of acquisition have not materialised. This makes it difficult to sustainably develop the GEA Bock business within the GEA Group. GEA is therefore convinced that GEA Bock has significantly better development potential outside the GEA Group structure and strategy.” 

The announcement made no mention of its GEA Grasso industrial refrigeration compressor business but, when asked, a spokesman said: “GEA is not planning any further sales in compressor manufacturing at this time.”

The Bock company was founded by Wilhelm Bock and Hans Göldner in 1932 as a refrigeration contractor. It started its own production in 1937, becoming Bock & Co KG a year later. It was acquired by GEA in 2011.

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