USA/THAILAND: Kulthorn Kirby has acquired the intellectual property, technology and processes of US manufacturer Bristol Compressors International.
Virginia-based air conditioning and refrigeration compressor manufacturer Bristol announced its closure at the end of July and is due to finally shut its doors on Monday.
This new agreement transfers Bristol’s equipment, brand name, product line, technologies and other assets to Bangkok-based Kulthorn Kirby. The new owner obtains the rights to manufacture Bristol-branded compressors from 1.5hp to 25hp for air conditioning and heat pump applications of 9,000 to 287,400Btu/hr and commercial refrigeration applications of 5,200 to 40,100Btu/hr. It has not acquired any of Bristol’s current liabilities or guarantees.
All of Bristol’s manufacturing assets will be moved from Bristol, Virginia, to Thailand. By expediting the move, Kulthorn Kirby says it expects to begin manufacturing Bristol compressors in Thailand by mid-2019. To maintain service and quality continuity, Kulthorn Kirby will produce Bristol compressors using processes replicated from the Virginia plant.
Kulthorn Kirby also says it intends to fully support Bristol’s worldwide customers throughout the transition. This will include not only ramping up production and reintroducing the new Bristol brand to the market, but also re-establishing and reinforcing the supply chain.
On July 31, the financially-troubled US company gave 60-days notice of the closure of its plant in Bristol, Virginia. 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.
Established in 1975, and an early developer of scroll compressors, Bristol Compressors was once a subsidiary of York International. 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 the New York-based Garrison Investment Group, in 2012.