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Smardt enters JV with Chinese group

Smardt chairman and CEO Roger Richmond-Smith (left) agrees the deal with Jiang Li, chairman and CEO of the TICA Group

CANADA/CHINA: Chinese air conditioning manufacturer TICA has taken a majority stake in the Montreal-based Smardt Chiller Group to form TICA-Smardt.

In a statement, the companies said the new joint venture would continue to develop the Smardt and TICA brands and the existing Smardt factories in Montreal, Melbourne, New York, Guangzhou and Stuttgart, where immediate expansion is slated.

Smardt was founded in Montreal in 2005 by Turbocor founder Roger Richmond-Smith, who will remain as Smardt chairman and CEO, working closely with Jiang Li, chairman and CEO of TICA.

The deal is expected to see TICA’s range of TICA air handling units being available through Smardt’s existing global distribution channels from next year.

Meanwhile, TICA’s factories and R&D facilities in Nanjing, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Chengdu and Kuala Lumpur will support further expansion of Smardt’s oil-free centrifugal chiller product range, in China and global markets.

TICA holds a controlling interest in the new joint venture, which plans to accelerate development of comprehensive oil-free solutions in its key global markets of metros, data centres, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, healthcare, automotive, hotels, district cooling and process cooling.

The new group plans gross revenues of some $1bn.

A delighted Roger Richmond-Smith said:“Our last joint venture, between Turbocor and Danfoss, powered the worldwide development of the breakthrough oil-free magnetic bearing technology we pioneered in Australia 25 years ago. This TICA-Smardt joint venture aims to bring chilled water plant and air handling systems together, driving oil-free technology through to optimised whole-building solutions. Advances in artificial intelligence make this prospect totally feasible.”

“The joint venture brings added value to all our larger existing customers as they struggle to minimise their energy costs”, said Jiang Li, chairman and CEO of the TICA Group. “Our work in larger systems – airports, metros, healthcare, electronics, clean rooms, data centres – all indicates very large potentials for oil-free technology in driving down total costs of ownership. There’s no overlap between TICA’s and Smardt’s existing resources, and enormous potential synergies in better applying our extensive R&D facilities, in China as well as with international partners.

“There’s a potential revolution here for our customers, just waiting for us to make it happen,” he added.

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