GEA has signed an agreement to sell its refrigeration contracting operations in Spain and Italy to Clauger, a French family-owned company that specialises in industrial refrigeration and air-conditioning systems.

The transaction is in line with GEA’s portfolio optimization strategy to divest selected business operations with comparatively low margins. Both parties have agreed not to disclose the financial details of the transaction, which is still subject to customary closing conditions. Closing of the transaction is expected in autumn 2021.

The two legal entities that form part of the transaction are GEA Refrigeration Italy S.p.A., based in Castel Maggiore (near Bologna) and GEA Refrigeration Ibérica S.A., based in Alcobendas (near Madrid), both of which provide customised refrigeration solutions for industrial customers.

Combined, the two companies generated revenues of about EUR 70 million ($A113.5 million) in 2020 with approximately 270 staff.

In a statement, GEA said they have a strong market position and are well positioned with their offerings. However, they are not sustainably reaching margin targets set by GEA for this type of business.

“The transaction does not affect GEA’s compressor selling business in the two countries, which retain their strategic importance and will be retained by GEA,” the statement said.

GEA Group AG CEO, Stefan Klebert, said the company is pleased to have found a solid buyer with family-owned group Clauger.

“We are convinced that the companies can further develop in the hands of Clauger. GEA will now focus its efforts on selling compressors and related equipment to packagers and contractors in Spain and Italy,” he said.

“GEA remains fully committed to serve its customers with a full range of industrial refrigeration solutions in its other geographical markets.

“A strong focus here is on customized solutions for optimizing the energy needs and CO2 footprint of its customers, enabling them to operate their production facilities – for example in food and beverage – sustainably by moving towards carbon neutrality.”

Clauger CEO, Frédéric Minssieux, said the agreement is aligned with where Clauger is today but also where it is going tomorrow.

“It illustrates our desire to continue our development and internationalization. During this new challenge, Clauger will be able to count on experienced teams, well established locally, to jointly develop the group's future in Spain and Italy,” he said.

Created in 1971, Clauger is a family-owned company based near Lyon and operates in more than 90 countries. The company has approximately 1,600 employees and generated sales of EUR 350 million ($A567.85 million) in 2020.


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