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Electronics Production | July 07, 2006

Danfoss acquires French heat pump manufacturer

Danfoss has signed an agreement for the acquisition of Avenir Energie, which is among the leading manufacturers of heat pumps in France. Avenir Energie employs 40 people and has an annual turnover of approx. 9 million Euros.
The acquisition of Avenir Energie is Danfoss' third heat pump acquisition in less than one year. In the autumn of 2005, Danfoss acquired the Swedish company, Thermia, which is among the world's leading manufacturers of heat pumps, and which is now established as Danfoss' heat pump competence centre. In April, the Swiss company, Steinmann, became a member of the Danfoss Group. The established objective of the Danfoss heat pump business is to become Europe's leading manufacturer.

”Based on increasing energy prices and increased demands for energy-efficient heat installations, we see substantial growth potential in heat pumps. We already hold a solid position in important markets such as Sweden and Switzerland, and now we also have an attractive platform in France, which is the next largest heat pump market in Europe. At the same time we have enhanced our product portfolio to include the most prevalent technologies in this field,” says Executive Vice President & COO of Danfoss, Niels B. Christiansen.

A heat pump collects the solar energy stored in the ground or in the outdoor air and typically generates three to four kW heat energy for each kW electricity consumed. The heat pump is connected to normal central heating systems as a replacement for oil or gas burners.

”Heat pumps are an efficient and environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional heating systems, and we are experiencing increased interest in our products. Our business is based on close dialogue with the installers who dimension and install the heat pumps. This we consider key to ensuring our customers' optimal operations and quality. As the Avenir business is built on the same principles, this acquisition is a natural extension of our market strategy,” says Senior Vice President of Danfoss Heat Pumps, Mats Bergsjö.

During the past years, Avenir Energie has managed to expand its market share in the French market, which currently has an annual growth of 15-20 per cent. In addition, the company has minor exports to neighbouring countries. The staff of Avenir Energie will remain unchanged after the takeover.

”With Danfoss as owner, our market position will be strengthened even further, and at the same time we will get the opportunity to continue driving our business based on the principles which helped create our current success. We will continue all existing relations within our installers' network and keep our focus on customer comfort and high quality. We look forward to our future cooperation with Danfoss,” says the owner of the company till now, Jean-Luc Barrault, who will continue as General Manager of Avenir Energie.

The Danfoss Heat Pump business currently has a turnover of approx. 500 million DKK per year, the majority of which is in Sweden.

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