U.S. based manufacturer Carrier announced on December 13 that is has entered into an agreement to sell its Europe-based commercial refrigeration business to Haier Smart Home, a division of Chinese manufacturer Haier, for an enterprise value of $775 million (€705.1 million).
Haier and Carrier have been joint-venture partners as Qingdao Haier Carrier Refrigeration Equipment Company since 2001.
The transaction marks Haier’s expansion from its household refrigeration business into the commercial refrigeration business, which includes Carrier’s substantial focus on transcritical CO2 refrigeration in Europe and beyond, with over 20,000 CO2 systems in operation.
Carrier Commercial Refrigeration has more than 4,000 employees and a sales and service network spanning Europe and the Asia–Pacific region. Its brands include Profroid, Celsior and Green & Cool. Carrier Transicold, Sensitech and its Lynx digital cold chain platform are not included in the transaction.
“Following our decision to exit the commercial refrigeration business and a robust competitive process, we identified Haier as the right fit to grow the business moving forward, building upon our successful 22-year refrigeration partnership with them,” said Carrier Chairman & CEO David Gitlin in a statement.
“Carrier Commercial Refrigeration is a preeminent global enterprise with respected brands, leading technology, and an experienced workforce dedicated to providing best-in-class solutions to customers globally,” said Li Huagang, Chairman and CEO of Haier Smart Home. “The acquisition will help Haier Smart Home establish its commercial refrigeration platform, enabling the company to capture additional growth opportunities by expanding its presence to food retail refrigeration and cold storage.”
Carrier expects net proceeds from the transaction to exceed $500 million and intends to use the proceeds to reduce debt. The company anticipates resuming share repurchases as soon as its net leverage returns to approximately 2x EBITDA.
The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2024 and is subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of certain regulatory approvals, and works council consultation processes.
Joint venture activities
The Haier-Carrier joint venture has previously engage in a number of transcritical CO2 projects. Notably, it won the bid to supply a transcritical CO2 ice-making system for the speed skating rink at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in China.
The joint venture also installed a CO2 system and cabinets at a Metro Wumart store in Chongqing, China.
In 2018, Haier-Carrier exhibited the QuietCO2OL CO2 condensing unit at the ChinaShop exhibition in Kunming, China.
In another natural refrigerant venture, Haier announced at the 2022 Chillventa trade show in Germany its plans to launch a home air-to-air split propane (R290) heat pump in Europe in 2023.
“Following our decision to exit the commercial refrigeration business and a robust competitive process, we identified Haier as the right fit to grow the business moving forward, building upon our successful 22-year refrigeration partnership with them.”Carrier Chairman & CEO David Gitlin