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Business Transactions

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Acquisitions abound as companies make strategic moves.

KONE Forms T&I Division, Appoints CTO

KONE has established a Technology & Innovation (T&I) division and appointed Tomio Pihkala (ELEVATOR WORLD, November 2013), formerly head of Operations Development, chief technology officer (CTO). T&I brings together the R&D and Information Technology departments. Mikko Korte, formerly head of New Equipment, Americas, will fill the Operations Development leader role. Upon announcement of the changes, KONE CEO Henrik Ehrnrooth stated:

“By establishing a dedicated [T&I] division, we will speed up our development in a changing business environment. The opportunities from digitation are accelerating in our industry. We see a lot of new and exciting ways to improve customer and user experience, as well as the quality and productivity of our operations.”

Magnetek Acquired by Columbus McKinnon

Magnetek has been acquired by Columbus McKinnon Corp. of Amherst, New York, in a US$188.9-million deal. Magnetek, based in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, will continue its operations under President Peter M. McCormick. Upon completion of the acquisition, Columbus McKinnon President Timothy T. Tevens stated:

“We command a measurably broader market for Magnetek’s technologies, and the addition of [its] power-control technology impressively enhances our product offerings. This compelling blend of products and knowhow enables us to bring ‘smart’ lifting and moving solutions to our customers.”

Besides the U.S., Columbus McKinnon has locations in Brazil, Germany, Mexico, South Africa and the U.K., while Magnetek has locations in Canada and the U.K.

KONE Acquires Croatian, Bosnian Distributor

KONE has acquired Lift Modus d.o.o., its distributor in Croatia and Bosnia. Headquartered in Zagreb, Croatia, Lift Modus has approximately 1,600 elevators and escalators in service and 60 employees. It has been KONE’s exclusive distributor in the area since 1999. Pierre Liautaud, director for KONE West and South Europe and Africa, stated, “We are very pleased to establish our presence in Croatia and Bosnia and take advantage of the growth opportunities in the region.”

ThyssenKrupp Ups Stake in Chinese Venture, Plans Factory

ThyssenKrupp has upped its stake in Chinese joint venture Marohn ThyssenKrupp Elevator Co., Ltd. from 25% to 51%, in an effort to increase its market position in the world’s largest elevator market. The company plans to open a new manufacturing facility in Shanghai in 2016 and had EUR85.2 million (US$97 million) in sales revenue in fiscal 2013/2014. ThyssenKrupp has had a stake in Marohn since 2011. The company elaborated on the factory for EW:

“The construction area of the manufacturing facility is over 37,000 m2. Production capacity will be greatly enhanced as a variety of automated production lines will be configured there. Moreover, an elevator testing tower, which is over 89 m, will completely meet the needs of various types of elevator tests, including that of a 7-mps, high-speed elevator.”

UT Makes Otis, Carrier Separate Again, Appoints Leaders

After two years of Otis and Carrier being part of Building & Industrial Systems (BIS), parent company United Technologies (UT) has made the entities standalone businesses again and appointed leaders for each, as of September. Both new leaders report to UT CEO Greg Hayes. Philippe Delpech is now president of Otis. He was formerly chief operating officer, International Operations, for BIS. Former BIS COO for the Americas Robert J. McDonough is now president of UT’s Climate, Controls & Security, which includes Carrier. BIS CEO Geraud Darnis is retiring in January after overseeing the transition.

ThyssenKrupp Encasa, CRL Collaborate on Stairlifts

ThyssenKrupp Encasa, the U.K.-based accessibility arm of ThyssenKrupp, recently collaborated with Brussels South Charleroi Airport (CRL) to develop and install an outdoor stairlift system for the mobile stairs used to access planes at CRL. ThyssenKrupp engineers worked with airport officials to overcome several challenges, such as providing electricity for the lifts using the battery that moves the mobile stairs and developing a folding mechanical step to bridge the gap from mobile stairs to ground. Twelve Levant® stairlifts were installed, and CRL will likely add more as airport traffic increases from the approximately 6.5 million passengers who pass through annually.

Woolcott Joins AL

Alan Woolcott has joined Amalgamated Lifts (AL) as project manager in its Construction Department. Woolcott has handled lift modernizations at large company and government offices, university campuses and hospitals. He has established relationships with large consultancies, as well as architects within the U.K. Houses of Parliament. AL Operations Development Manager Daniel Williamson observed that Woolcott “brings additional structure and understanding to ensure client retention is maintained, while broadening AL’s project scope and overall project-management capabilities.”

Projects, Changes in Asia

Significant contract, orders for industry equipment and a new safety initiative

40 KONE Elevators in Ho Chi Minh City Development

KONE has been hired to provide 40 MiniSpaceTM elevators to a residential component of Masteri Thao Dien, a mixed-use development covering 8 ha. in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Powered by the energy-efficient EcoDiscTM hoisting machine, the elevators will have a speed of 3 mps. Masteri Thao Dien is set to include apartments, offices, a large shopping center and public amenities. It is scheduled for completion by the end of 2016. The shopping center will be adjacent to a new metro station scheduled for completion in 2018. Neeraj Sharma, executive vice president for KONE Asia Pacific and Middle East, stated:

“We are extremely pleased that Masteri Thao Dien chose KONE as its supplier for this project and to serve the growing population of Ho Chi Minh City with our pioneering eco-efficient solutions.”

Otis Teaches Escalator Safety in China

Otis has approximately 1,000 volunteers teaching escalator-safety classes to children across China, an effort that is increasingly important in light of recent serious and fatal escalator accidents in the world’s largest vertical-transportation market, China News Service reported. Otis employees are getting involved, too, with more than 960 having taught safety classes in 33 Chinese cities as of 2015. Launched in 2012, the program shares tips about the proper use of escalators during an approximately 45-min. class and includes a comic book. 

Avire Displays in Guangzhou Tower

By the end of 2015, 23 E-Motive Panorama LCD displays from Avire are set to be installed in the Mitsubishi Electric elevators in the Kingold Century building in Guangzhou, China. The headquarters for Kingold Group and other large corporations, the tower is 228 m tall and encompasses 210,000 m2. The displays are available in screen sizes of 19, 28 and 38 in., and content can be customized.

Mitsubishi in Japan

New show space and building in the works in and around Tokyo

Mitsubishi Electric to Open Showcase Space in Tokyo

Specially built elevators will be part of a new showcase space Mitsubishi Electric is building in commercial district Ginza 5-chome in Tokyo. The 908-m2 METoA Ginza is scheduled to open in spring 2016 and will include an event and exhibition area, a café and displays. Mitsubishi Electric observes:

“It will be the first time in 29 years for Mitsubishi Electric to open such a facility in Ginza, after its Mitsubishi Electric Sky Ring showroom from 1963 through 1987. The area attracts a wide variety of visitors from Japan and overseas, making it an ideal location to raise the group’s profile and communicate its value to society by highlighting how its products can improve people’s lives.”

Mitsubishi Estate Plans Tallest Building in Japan

Mitsubishi Estate Co. said it plans to build the tallest skyscraper in Japan, a 390-m-tall, 61-story tower near JR Tokyo Station, The Japan News reported. Abeno Harukas in Osaka is Japan’s current tallest building at 300 m. The construction site for the proposed building spans more than 30,000 m2. Mitsubishi Estate foresees completion in 2028.

Indian, Bangladeshi Events Set

Virgo Communications & Exhibitions has announced the sixth International Elevator & Escalator (IEE) Expo and second Global Lift & Escalator Expo Dhaka (GLE). The former will again be held in Mumbai’s Bombay Exhibition Centre on March 17-19, 2016, and the latter will take place in Dhaka, Bangladesh’s International Convention City on November 16-18, 2016. GLE first took place in February under the name “IEE Expo Dhaka” (ELEVATOR WORLD, May 2015). For more information or to register, contact raghu@virgo-comm.com or vashdev@virgo-comm.com, or visit www.gleexpo.com.

Action in Canada

Savaria acquisition headlines news from Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver.

Savaria Buys Silver Cross Franchise, Plans to Expand

Savaria Corp. has purchased the assets of the Silver Cross franchise in Ottawa, Canada, and plans to open additional Silver Cross stores in “all key markets in Canada to complement [its] existing franchise locations.” Savaria purchased the assets of Silver Cross, with 16 locations in the U.S. and Canada and a pair of corporate locations in Ontario, in 2014. Savaria now intends to add to those locations with larger stores that will enable it to showcase additional accessibility products, including home elevators.

Vancouver Client Orders Alimak Hoists

Alimak Group received a US$1-million order from Tall Crane Equipment Ltd. in Vancouver, Canada, to construct twin cage hoists. The hoists are scheduled for delivery by the end of 2015. Fredrik Betts, head of Alimak Group’s Construction Equipment division, observed Canada is a promising market for the company, and it intends to continue to expand its sales, distribution and service networks in Canada and beyond.

KJA Signs 10-Year Contract with Real-Estate Giant

KJA Consultants Inc., headquartered in Toronto, has signed a 10-year maintenance contract with Oxford Properties Group, one of the largest Canada-based real-estate firms, with more than 50 million sq. ft. of office, residential, multifamily and hotel property. Utilizing KJA’s e2m elevator and escalator management program, the agreement includes regular inspections, contractor meetings and web-based tracking of performance, government directives and capital planning. 

Ottawa Towers to House Student Residences

A pair of 28- and 25-story towers at 101 Champagne Avenue South are planned in Ottawa, the Ottawa Citizen reported. Capital Hall Condominiums are set to include more than 500 residences that will be owned by investors and rented to college students. Developers hope the project, originally planned as traditional condominiums, will help address a student housing shortage in the area. The 28-story tower is expected to be complete by the start of the 2016 school year, while the 25-story tower is to open in 2018.

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