Beijer Ref acquires Patton and plans expansion

WORLD – The Swedish refrigeration group Beijer Ref AB is set to continue expanding its operations outside Europe and has acquired all the shares in the refrigeration wholesale company, Patton, which is based in Auckland, New Zealand and has operations in New Zealand, Australia, India and Thailand.
Beijer Ref is one of the world’s largest refrigeration wholesalers this latest acquisition is seen as marking a significant step forward in the company’s ongoing strategy to continue its growth outside Europe.
”This is a key acquisition which gives us a foothold in the important markets New Zealand, Australia and India and, at the same time, strengthens our existing operation in Thailand. Patton is an established company with a long tradition and a strong growth potential in its markets. The company eminently fits our profile”, stated Per Bertland, CEO of Beijer Ref.
Patton, the leading refrigeration wholesaler in New Zealand and founded in 1923, has sales figures of approximately SEK 400M (equating to £30.7M). Patton’s sales include products which are manufactured by the company itself and which are marketed under the Patton brand. The company has also established operations in other territories and has made inroads in the Australian, Indian and Thai markets.
Patton has nine branches in New Zealand, employing 65 people and with sales of SEK 175M. The New Zealand economy is highly dependent on food exports and consequently access to efficient refrigeration installations is crucial. The tourist industry is also on the rise, which in turn generates an increased demand for refrigeration installations and air conditioning. Accounting for almost 35 per cent of the market share, Patton is the leading refrigeration wholesaler in the country.
Meanwhile, the company has set up an important operation in Australia and now has 14 branches, 53 employees and sales of SEK 190M since beginning operations in 1985. Patton is now a significant player in the refrigeration wholesales business in Australia.
Patton established its operation in Thailand in 2007, where it manufactures its own refrigeration products. The Thai operation has sales of SEK 30M, 62 employees and is run through the joint-venture company, Patton Aero. The refrigeration products are mostly sold in India, the Middle East, South East Asia and Australia. In 2014, the company moved into a new 3,700 square metre premises which will ensure the company is able to triple its current production.
Patton has established an Indian operation consisting of five branches, 22 employees and having sales of SEK 15M. India is the world’s largest producer of milk, fruit and vegetables. A major concern for the Indian authorities is to limit food waste through an improved infrastructure and, consequently, investing in efficient refrigeration installations is a vital component in this battle.
Patton has a large product portfolio containing such brands as Mitsubishi Electric, Emerson, Embraco and Than.
”Beijer Ref complements Patton’s current product supply with several strong international brands, which are currently missing in its product portfolio. It means that Beijer Ref, with its overall product offer, will become more competitive in these markets. In addition, we see synergies on the purchasing side as well as on the production side”, added Per Bertland.
Patton will be integrated within Beijer Ref’s existing organisation and should be included in the consolidated accounts as of March 2015. The expectation is that the acquisition of Patton will have a positive effect on Beijer Ref’s net income in 2015. Patton’s current management will continue to play an active role in the new company.