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Companies on the Move

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An Australian firm reinforces its commitment to safety, shares are acquired, experts are hired, and a U.K. company moves into a new location.

Bain Announces Wittur Acquisition

Bain Capital Europe LLC has announced it intends to buy Germany-based Wittur, one of the world’s largest independent elevator component and systems suppliers, from Triton and Capvis. The deal is subject to regulatory approval. No staffing changes are anticipated. Since its 2010 acquisition by majority shareholder Triton and co-investor Capvis, Wittur has made notable strides, Bain observed, including solidifying its status as an industry leader and substantially growing revenues, customer base, operations and R&D. Bain believes continued outsourcing in the elevator industry will drive continued growth for component suppliers such as Wittur.

Apex Starts 2015 in New, Larger Digs

Apex Lifts’ service, accounts, call, repair, sales and construction staff started 2015 in a new, larger facility, Art’s House Banks Lane in Bexleyheath, Kent DA6 7BH, U.K. Phone numbers and email addresses are unchanged. Moving into the 12,800-sq.-ft. building, located just outside of London, represents growth for the company. It boasts a stylish interior, as well as ergonomic and high-tech features. It is named for company founder Arthur Richard Thomas Jenchner. His son, Managing Director Warren Jenchner, observed:

“2015 is set to be an exciting year for Apex Lifts, so it’s the perfect time to move to a bigger office space. While the offices are separate from our manufacturing facilities, we’re still keen to show off what we do at Apex, so we’re installing our own brand of show lift, complete with glass doors and LCD screens, which will also display on our Twitter feed.”

Majority of Sematic Shares Acquired by Carlyle

The European division of Washington, D.C.-based asset-management firm The Carlyle Group has acquired a majority stake in Italy’s Sematic Elevator Products. Sematic has experienced double-digit revenue growth in recent years and, in 2014, expected to generate sales of EUR150 million (US$183.8 million). The deal was expected to close in the first quarter of 2015, and Sematic is optimistic the partnership will enhance its ability to grow internationally. With more than 1,000 employees and production facilities and sales offices worldwide, Sematic was founded in 1959 by Francesco Zappa and is today run by his sons, Roberto, Marco and Paolo.

AL Hires Operations Development Manager, Launches Website

Amalgamated Lifts Ltd. (AL) of Kent, U.K., has hired Daniel Williamson as Operations Development manager. Williamson has worked within the lift industry around the world in various roles, from manufacturing, export and trade sales to direct end-user sales, over the last 13 years. Most of his experience was on bespoke lift designs. His role at AL is to ensure constant business growth and engage new clients with a unique way of working. He is a part of the company’s Senior Management team and supports its Construction Department. Williamson has a degree in International Business, French and Spanish from Aston Business School and has completed a Lift Engineering course from the ITAINNOVA Technological Institute of Aragon, Spain.

AL has also launched a new website at www.al-lifts.co.uk. It includes sections for all of AL’s services: lift maintenance, repair, modernization and installation. “Key Personnel” and “Past Projects” sections are also prominent.

Blain Hydraulics Establishes Blain India Pvt. Ltd.

Blain Hydraulics of Germany has established Blain India Pvt. Ltd. in Mumbai in an effort to build market share in what it describes as a “promising and developing elevator market” that includes India and the Indian subcontinent. Products will come from Blain’s own warehouse, which will be joined shortly by marketing and service centers. Stated the company: “With ready availability of its products, spare parts and services, Blain India will contribute in expanding hydraulic elevator market share in India in years to come.”

LML Partners with EESF, Hires Consultant

LML Lift Consultants Pty. Ltd. has become a sponsor and partner of the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation (EESF). This means LML will host EESF material on its website and promote the organization in its country of operation. The company stated: “As a safety-minded organization, LML sees the benefit in partnering with EESF in order to help spread safety messages and programs to the lift- and escalator-using public in Australia.” LML has also hired Charlie Mastrogiovanni as a senior consultant based at its head office in Melbourne, Australia. Mastrogiovanni has 25 years of experience, including lift installation, servicing and consulting.

KONE Action

Acquisition and high-profile jobs on tap for OEM 

Italian Firm MIA Acquired

KONE has acquired Manutenzione Installazione Ascensori SpA (MIA), a company formerly owned by Manutencoop Group, doing business in Italy from 12 locations. MIA provides maintenance, modernization and new-unit sales, and its maintenance arm has grown by 16,000 units since its founding in 2008. MIA employs approximately 160 people. Upon completion of the deal, KONE Executive Vice President and Area Director for West and South Europe and Africa Pierre Liautaud remarked:

“This acquisition strengthens KONE’s presence in the fragmented Italian elevator market and brings new opportunities in the challenging business environment of southern Europe.”

57 Units for Paris Law Courts

KONE has been hired to provide a vertical-transportation system that includes 49 elevators and eight escalators for the Paris Law Courts, a new, 160-m-tall complex that will bring the city’s court and police functions under one roof. The order includes a panoramic elevator, along with 37 MonoSpace® and nine MiniSpaceTM elevators, and eight TravelMasterTM escalators. It also includes KONE’s destination-control system. KONE’s temporary elevator JumpLift will be used during construction. Pierre Liautaud, executive vice president and area director for KONE West and South Europe and Africa, stated:

“We are very proud to have been selected by Bouygues Construction for this high-rise project, which is sure to become a landmark of the city. By offering our latest energy-efficient equipment, we are helping the customer reach their sustainability goals.”

London Airport Deal

KONE has secured a four-year contract to maintain elevators, escalators and moving walks at London’s busy Gatwick Airport. In what the company called “around-the-clock service,” KONE will maintain all the airport’s elevators, escalators and passenger conveyors. It was also appointed Gatwick Airport Ltd.’s modernization partner for associated equipment. KONE’s operational performance at Gatwick is published monthly across the airport. As of December 2014, its equipment availability rate was 99.7%. The facility serves approximately 38 million passengers per year.

Hyundai Motor Plans 100-Plus-Story Skyscraper in Seoul

Hyundai Motor Group aims to build an office tower of at least 100 stories on the former Korea Electric Power Corp. site in the Gangnam district of Seoul, The Dong-a Ilbo reported. In December 2014, the automaker was soliciting bids from international architectural firms and pursuing approvals needed to proceed. Should it be built, the tower will be joined by a convention center, automobile theme park, shopping mall and lodging. The office tower would be among the tallest buildings in Seoul.

Sri Lankan Tower an Homage to Cricketers

A 96-story, mixed-use tower proposed in Colombo, Sri Lanka, is designed as a tribute to the 1996 cricket team that won the World Cup, World Architecture News reports. Designed by Reza Kabul Architects, its glassy façade resembles four cricket bats with a ball perched on top. Should it be built, 96 Iconic Tower would have 18 escalators connecting a four-level shopping area, along with four lifts for residents and two for staff. It would also contain a top-floor observatory and a cricket museum.

Turkish Governor Bans Short Elevator Trips

Dursun Ali Şahin, governor of Edirne, Turkey, has banned elevator trips of up to three floors for the able bodied in the city’s public and private buildings, various outlets, including the Daily Sabah, reported. Aimed at fighting obesity and having gone into effect on January 1, “Let’s Take the Stairs Instead of the Elevator” exempts elderly and disabled persons. An elevator attendant is to supervise the process in institutional buildings. Şahin is the same lawmaker who has enforced health-oriented rules in the past, such as requiring cafés to serve tea with only one sugar cube, rather than the traditional two.

Big Contracts for Majors in Australasia

Demand fuels sales, ambitious plans in India’s most populous metropolis.

Opulent Condo Tower Planned

Bandra Ohm, an opulent, 30-story condominium tower that would have a balcony swimming pool for each of its 100 units, is planned in Mumbai, the Wall Street Journal reports. Designed by James Law Cybertecture of Hong Kong, the building has a remarkable design resembling a perfume bottle with a Fabergé egg in the center. The balcony swimming pool has been seen in cities such as Miami and Kuala Lumpur as developers find ways to make their luxury towers stand out from the competition. Ground is expected to be broken this year on Bandra Ohm. 

Strong Demand for Residences in Supertall

The Lodha Group, developers of the 117-story, 442-m-tall residential building World One Tower in Mumbai, reports brisk sales during a nine-day booking period in winter 2014, New Delhi TV reports. During that time, approximately US$80 million worth of property was sold. The project was launched in 2010 and is expected to be complete in 2016. It will be among the tallest residential structures in the world. In December 2014, it was approximately 75% complete.

Schindler System for Indonesia’s Tallest Tower

Schindler is outfitting what will be Indonesia’s tallest skyscraper, the 330-m-tall, 81-story Thamrin Nine Tower 1 in Jakarta, with a complete vertical-transportation system that includes 32 elevators and 34 escalators. Installation is underway, and the building, which will house offices and a Hilton hotel, is scheduled for completion in 2017. Units being installed include several panoramic, 8-mps elevators, as well as a 280-mT-capacity elevator capable of carrying vehicles up 280 m in less than 2.5 min. The system will utilize Schindler’s PORT destination-control technology and be monitored by Schindler’s Lobby Vision® security system. The elevators are Schindler’s electricity-regenerating 7000 Series. The 5.5-million-sq.-ft. building, part of a larger, mixed-use development, is expected to house up to 25,000 tenants. The vertical-transportation system is expected to serve approximately 6,000 passengers daily.

New Asansör Istanbul Pavilion for March Event

The 14th Asansör Istanbul exposition is set for March 26-29 at the Tüyap Fair and Convention Center in Istanbul across approximately 50,000 m2. Among an anticipated record number of international participants at the four-day industry show, there will be a new national pavilion for Italian companies. It will be comprised of some 33 Italian manufacturers and suppliers. Additionally, a group from Germany and approximately 58 companies from China are to have booths. Organizers İFO Fuarcılık and AYSAD (Turkish Lift and Escalator Industry Association) expect an additional 120 exhibitors from Spain, France, the U.K., Greece, India, the U.S., Lebanon, Malta, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. They suggest participants plan to spend at least three days at the show to interact with all the exhibitors.

The 2015 edition of the fair is expected to be some 25% larger than the previous (and record) iteration, held in 2013. A total of 500 exhibitors from 30 countries are expected to participate. For more information, visit website: www.asansoristanbul.com.

CTBUH Predicts 2015, Looks Back at 2014

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) kicked off the year with news predictions for each month of 2015. Highlights include “New York’s B2 Will Be Back” (the January predication, also covered in ELEVATOR WORLD, November 2014), “Dubai’s Burj 2020 To Get Underway” (the March prediction, also covered in EW, December 2014), “Ping An Finance Center Will Top Out” (the July prediction, also covered in EW, March 2014), “KL118 Foundation Work Completed” (a third-quarter prediction, also covered in EW, September 2014) and “Shanghai Tower Will Complete” (the November prediction, with its record-setting elevators most extensively covered in EW, July 2013). Finally, the council expects China to lead the world in supertall-building completions, finishing 13 in the year.

In addition to numerous tall buildings EW also covered, ThyssenKrupp’s MULTI (EW, February 2015) was among CTBUH’s choices for top 12 stories of 2014. The full story is available at website: www.ctbuh.org/News/GlobalTallNews/WatchOutforTheseTall Happeningsin2015/tabid/6716/language/en-US/Default.aspx.

New VTIP Contains Updated, Expanded Information

The Vertical Transportation Industry Profile (VTIP) 2014 will be available at the Elevator World Bookstore by March 31. It will be approximately 90 pages. It includes new statistics for almost every U.S. state (at least 40 of the 50), Canadian province and European country. New stats are included for, among others, India, China, Japan, Brazil, South Africa, and, for the first time since 2000, many South Asian and Gulf Cooperative Council countries, including Sri Lanka, the U.A.E., Iran and Saudi Arabia. Extensive reports on elevator markets in India, Italy, China and the U.S. will be included, as well. For more information, see website: www.elevatorbooks.com or phone: (251) 479-4514, ext. 19.

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