Refrigeration giant Bitzer has bought the 133 year old German component specialist Armaturenwerk Altenburg (AWA) for an undisclosed sum.
AWA, which was founded in 1879, manufactures valves, sight glasses, solder adapters, flanges and fittings for refrigeration and air conditioning systems worldwide. The company generates a turnover of around €23m (£19m) with a total of 200 employees. Forty-five per cent of its products are exported to the European Union, the US, China, Brazil and Russia.
Bitzer Chief Procurement Officer Jürgen Kleiner said: “By taking over Europe’s leading manufacturer of refrigerant fittings we have secured a supply to our manufacturing sites worldwide, and expanded our product portfolio.”
“The AWA, FAS and Hans Nobis brands will be retained, all of which stand for exceptional quality and reliability. Our customers will from now on benefit from a complete range from a single supplier – all in the familiar Bitzer quality.”
Long-standing AWA employees Diana Schubert and Günter Schuboth are the new managing directors of the Bitzer subsidiary. The previous owner, Karl-Fritz Jordan (67), is leaving the company for personal reasons. Mr Jordan made the business successful, raising turnover from 3 million euros in 2002 to the current level of 23 million euros.
Bitzer plans to expand and develop the location very soon and a neighboring property has already been purchased from the local council in Altenburg. ‘We are extending the production facilities and planning a logistics center which will ensure fast, flexible delivery,’ said Mr Kleiner.