November 26, 2018 / 7:05 AM / 14 days ago

Japan's Daikin to buy Austria's AHT Cooling for $1 billion

FILE PHOTO: An employee of Daikin Industries Ltd works at the production line of outdoor air conditioning units at the company's Kusatsu factory in Shiga prefecture, western Japan March 20, 2015. REUTERS/Yuya Shino

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s Daikin Industries Ltd (6367.T) said on Monday it would buy Austria-based AHT Cooling Systems for 881 million euros (780 million pounds) as it seeks global growth outside the maturing air-conditioning business in the developed world.

Daikin, the world’s largest maker of air-conditioning equipment, said it would buy all of unlisted AHT Cooling, a refrigerator maker for business use, from British investment firm Bridgepoint.

The purchase of AHT Cooling would solidify Daikin’s foothold in Europe, while helping to expand its refrigeration business in the United States and Asia, the Osaka-based company said in a statement. AHT has production sites in Austria, the United States, China and Brazil.

Daikin has been setting its sights overseas and beyond its mainstay air-conditioning business, buying Italy’s Zanotti, a maker of industrial cooling and freezing equipment, for 98 million euros in 2016.

Having succeeded in grabbing a high share of Asia’s emerging air-conditioning market, particularly in India, Daikin is aiming to expand in Africa, where South Korea’s LG Electronics (066570.KS) and China’s Haier are established giants.

Daikin's shares closed up 3.2 percent on Monday, outperforming the Nikkei 225 average .N225, which rose 0.76 percent.

Reporting by Takashi Umekawa and Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Muralikumar Anantharaman

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