Johnson Controls has acquired a 60% stake in the new business, with Hitachi Appliances retaining ownership of the remaining 40%. Together, the business has more than JPY350bn in sales annually (approximately US$2.8bn).
The joint venture has approximately 14,000 employees and 24 global locations dedicated to design, engineering and manufacturing throughout Asia, Europe and Latin America. In a joint statement, the company’s say they will build on both organisations’ technology and r&d, as well as expanding marketing channels.
The new joint venture’s management team will be led by chief executive officer Franz Cerwinka and chief operating officer and president Shinichi Iizuka. Cerwinka has 20 years of experience with Johnson Controls, including four years in Japan as vice president of finance with the company’s automotive business and work with more than ten joint ventures. Iizuka has been with Hitachi for over 35 years, having spent eight years in India as the president of Hitachi Home & Life Solutions India Ltd. He has led Hitachi’s air conditioning business since 2013.
“We are very pleased to start operations and are anxious to serve our customers with an unmatched global network of channels and technology,” said Cerwinka. “Johnson Controls and Hitachi are a perfect match with our complementary product lines, unparalleled brands and rich 100-year histories.”
The deal was first announced at the end of 2013 and was due to be completed in 2014. However, the deal was then delayed due to “separation issues”.
Johnson Controls was keen to gain access to Hitachi’s VRF products, with the Japanese-inspired VRF technology expected to become a major competitor to traditional ducted systems in the US market in the coming years.
Through a previous OEM agreement, Johnson Controls has already begun selling Hitachi Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) systems in North America and recently opened a VRF training center in Dallas, Texas.
Hitachi Appliances will continue to provide Hitachi branded HVAC products in the Japanese market after this transaction.
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