17 March 2008

Elco buys Fedders

ELCO, the Israeli parent company of French air conditioning manufacturer Airwell, is to purchase the troubled Fedders North America residential hvac business for a reported $13.25m.
The purchase includes three Fedders' brands, including inventory: Fedders, Air Temp, and Emerson Quiet Kool. Airwell's Chinese subsidiary, Electra Air Conditioning (Shenzhen) Co Ltd will also buy Fedders' Chinese activity for $3.6m, it is reported.

Fedders North America, Inc. and sixteen subsidiaries, including its parent company, the Fedders Corporation filed petitions under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code in August last year.

The business will be conducted within Airwell-Fedders North America Inc., under Airwell Air Conditioning BV and its parent company Elco Holdings Ltd.

One of the largest and best known US air conditioning manufacturers, Fedders is over a century old, and, in its time, has itself acquired a number of acr companies including Airtemp and Climatrol. It has also marketed air conditioners under the Maytag brand - a name licensed from the Maytag Corporation.

This purchase represents the entrance of Airwell Air Conditioning into the North American market. Airwell was founded in 1947 and is one of the world's leading manufacturers and distributors of air conditioners and central air conditioning systems with production facilities in France, Italy, Israel, China and Argentina. In 2006 Airwell posted annual sales exceeding $500m.

Ulrich Bornkessel, CEO of the Airwell Group said: 'Airwell is looking forward to completing the current Fedders' product range, offering a comprehensive line of the highest quality heating and air conditioning products at a fair price to the North American market.'

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