Johnson Controls to Buy Majority of Hitachi AC Business

Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI  ) has reached agreement on an indisputably cool acquisition. The company announced it has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Hitachi (NASDAQOTH: HTHIY  )  and its unit Hitachi Appliances to take a 60% stake in the latter firm's global air conditioning business. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition excludes sales and service operations in Japan, as well as "certain other assets" that were not specified. With Johnson Controls on board, the business will be operated as a joint venture. 

The American company was lured by both the technology of the Hitachi business, and the opportunity it provided to scale up in the segment. In the press release announcing the news, it quoted CEO Alex Molinaroli as saying that "this investment positions Johnson Controls as the world's largest commercial air conditioning provider."

Both firms expect the joint venture to commence operations next year, pending regulatory and other approvals.

Johnson Controls has been in a spending mood of late. Last month, it announced it acquired a 90% stake in Colombian battery maker MAC, boosted its quarterly dividend, and expanded its share buyback program.

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