Forward thinking, expansions and more from around the world

(l-r) IFEZA Commissioner Lee Young-geun, Incheon Mayor Jeong-bok Yu, Otis President Philippe Delpech and Otis Korea Vice President and Managing Director I.S. Cho sign the MoU.

GGC Acquires GAL, GAL Canada, Hollister-Whitney, Names CEO, CFO

Golden Gate Capital’s (GGC) acquisition of GAL Manufacturing Corp., GAL Canada and Hollister-Whitney closed on June 26, and a new CEO president and chief financial officer (CFO) for the three companies were introduced on June 27. Mark Boelhouwer is CEO and president, with Angelo Messina as CFO. Both have significant elevator-industry experience, Boelhouwer as former owner of Oracle Elevator, a GAL customer, and Messina as former CFO of Otis. GAL is confident the additions will be “an excellent fit for the organization.”

San Francisco-based GGC announced on May 4 it would acquire the companies. Headquartered in Bronx, New York, GAL is a leading designer, manufacturer and distributor of elevator components and systems that supplies to independent elevator contractors and major OEMs. Founded in 1927 by Herbert Glaser, GAL and it’s related companies have been managed through the years by his sons, Herbert Glaser and Walter Glaser (a member of ELEVATOR WORLD’s Technical Advisory Group), and with third-generation family members Paul Seifried, Sonny Glaser and Brian Glaser. GGC stated the company will remain in its present manufacturing locations.

Hitachi Sets High Goals in Thailand

Hitachi’s elevator and escalator distributor in Thailand is projecting aggressive sales growth, The Japan Times reported. Michael Tang, vice president of Hitachi Elevator (Thailand) Co., has taken on a new role as head of its sales and marketing unit. He said the company aims to increase its market share to 25% in 2020, from the current 17%, in second place behind market leader Mitsubishi Electric. He explained Hitachi was the market leader before the Asian financial crisis in 1997.

To attain its goal, the company intends annual sales growth of 20% on average and is seeking to sell 1,000 units this year, up 18% from 850 units in 2016. Elevators are expected to account for 70% and escalators for 30% of the 2017 total. Thailand’s elevator and escalator market totaled approximately 5,500 units last year and is expected to grow 3-5% this year, the source stated. Additionally, demand for home elevators is to grow significantly in the next one to two years due to its rapidly aging population.

Hitachi expanded the annual capacity of its Thai plant from 1,500 to 2,500 units last year and opened a regional training center in the country early this year to train and educate engineers from other Asian countries (ELEVATOR WORLD, December 2016 and May 2017). It plans to continue selling Thai-built products in overseas markets, now expecting to boost the subsidiary’s revenue from exports to 60% in 2020 from the current 10%.

Sdiptech Buys Austrian Elevator Companies

Sdiptech AB has announced the acquisition of controlling interest in two Austrian elevator companies, ST Liftsystems
GmbH and Aufzüge Friedl GmbH. The deals give Stockholm, Sweden-based Sdiptech 51% ownership in each company, with options to buy the remaining 49%. ST Liftsystems manufactures compact elevators suitable for small spaces in existing buildings, as well as new construction. Aufzüge Friedl installs and services elevators in Vienna and nearby areas. The total amount Sdiptech paid for its shares of both companies was EUR6.5 million
(US$7.28 million).

“With the acquisition of ST Liftsystems, we get access to a very interesting product for our existing elevator operations in the Stockholm area, in addition to the fact that we obviously see great potential for international sales to independent operators,” said Sdiptech CEO Jakob Holm. “With Aufzüge Friedl, we expand our elevator service business to Vienna, which, like Stockholm, is a fast-growing capital in line with our long-term strategy.” Sdiptech AB focuses on urban infrastructure, offering niche products and services for fast-growing metropolitan areas. With the acquisitions, it projects annual revenue of about SEK1 billion (US$116.5 million).

Otis Consolidates R&D, Production in South Korea

Officials from Otis signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Incheon Metropolitan City and Incheon Free Economic Zone Authority (IFEZA) in June to build a 15,600-m2 R&D and production facility in the high-tech Industrial Center of the Songdo International Business District in Incheon, South Korea. Construction is set to start in September, with anticipated completion in 2018. The move will bring existing R&D and production facilities in Seoul, Incheon and Changwon under one roof.

Otis Korea’s modernization-system and quality center will move from its headquarters near Seoul to the new facility. Otis states the new facility will further support its technological capacities in Northeast Asia, as well as revitalize the Incheon economy. Used to develop Internet of Things-connected elevators, it will serve as an R&D hub for South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. Otis President Philippe Delpech observed the investment is “an opportunity to take our product and service technology to the next level to the benefit of our customers.”

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