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Johnson Controls diversifies HVAC portfolio with three new acquisitions

Johnson Controls has announced a series of acquisitions – East Lancashire Refrigeration, H&C Contracts and McDowall Air Conditioning – as part of an ongoing strategic growth plan within the HVAC sector.

These acquisitions are expected to allow Johnson Controls to diversify its product portfolio and fill geographical service gaps across the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Johnson Controls' solutions were traditionally centred on business critical environments and in particular, large tonnage chillers, but there is a substantial market for air conditioning in offices, shops and other commercial environments and as HVAC requirements continue to grow, these acquisitions will help Johnson Controls grow in this market.

Specialist HVAC solutions

East Lancashire Refrigeration (ELR), acquired in May 2019, provides specialist design, manufacture, installation and servicing of refrigeration, air conditioning and ventilation systems. The Blackburn-based company built up a strong client base and earnt an excellent reputation before being acquired by Johnson Controls.

ELR has a longstanding presence providing industry HVAC equipment to specialist customer segments in the pharmaceutical and data centre sectors, among others. In addition, the acquisition has allowed Johnson Controls to utilise ELR’s in-house design capabilities to manufacture ductworks and plenum boxes to further enhance its market capabilities.

Growth in the public sector

H&C Contracts, acquired in December 2019, provides specialist heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration services. Based in Bordon, Hampshire, H&C Contracts offers a comprehensive range of HVAC services, including in-house design, sales, service & maintenance and project maintenance capabilities to ensure a smooth journey from start to finish.

H&C Contracts has a particular expertise in the public sector where Johnson Controls’ presence hasn’t been as strong. In particular, it works extensively with the healthcare sector, providing a full range of HVAC solutions to the NHS and its supply chain, with emphasis on MRI scanning environments, operating theatres, general wards and more.

Stepping into the building retrofit market

McDowall Air Conditioning, acquired in March 2020, provides leading customer service within the air conditioning and ventilation industry from design through to service and maintenance. Based in Walsall, West Midlands McDowall specialises in the design and build of air conditioning and ventilation systems to suit a wide range of building types and environments.

In particular, McDowall’s expertise lies in the supply of HVAC solutions to the office building retrofit market. Its strong relationships with interior design and fit out firms, two areas where Johnson Controls’ presence hasn’t been as strong, provides opportunity to further diversity its HVAC portfolio.

Filling in a geographical service gap

Together, the three acquisitions allow Johnson Controls to fill its geographical service gaps for national customers, namely those in the North West, South West and West Midlands. In addition, the acquisitions allow Johnson Controls to move into new customer segments and diversify its product portfolio to better service new, existing and future customers.

“We are thrilled to welcome ELR, H&C Contracts and McDowall Air Conditioning to the Johnson Controls family,” said Gail Hunter, general manager of HVAC UK&I at Johnson Controls. “We will now look to take the best practices from each business to better support our customers across the country.”


15 June 2020


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