OSAKA -- Japanese motor giant Nidec plans to fully acquire the Secop group, a German refrigerator components maker, in a play to capture demand generated by tightening environmental regulations worldwide.
The deal seen at around 25 billion yen ($227 million) would turn Secop into a subsidiary by the end of the year.
Secop manufactures compressors for household and commercial refrigerators, supplying such heavyweights as Sweden's Electrolux, South Korea's Samsung Electronics and Haier of China. A German investment fund bought Secop from Denmark's Danfoss group in 2010.
The parts maker rings up sales of about 43 billion yen and employs more than 2,000. It is strong in cooling compressors that pressurize gas using motors. The company operates production centers in Slovakia, China and elsewhere.
Nidec is looking to improve the compressors by making use of its own high-performance motors. This would lend to increased energy efficiency and compactness, enabling the development of more efficient refrigerators with larger storage capacities than conventional models of comparable size. The company also seeks to add functions for compressors to automatically adjust operations during winter, for example, to reduce power consumption.
The market for refrigerator compressors is estimated to approach 200 million units. Tougher environmental laws are driving the migration to energy-saving refrigerators in Europe and Asia. The market is expected to grow at an annual clip of 4% or so.
Nidec already makes motors for washing machines and dryers. The company aims to use the Secop acquisition as a springboard to doubling sales in its white goods parts business to around 100 billion yen.
Motors for hard-disk drives have been a mainstay for Nidec. But the market will likely hit a ceiling in the medium to long term, in part because of flagging shipments of personal computers. In response, the company has identified midsize and large motors for industrial and household applications, as well as automotive products, as main drivers of its future business growth.
Nidec targets sales of 2 trillion yen in fiscal 2020, in part by actively pursuing acquisitions. Secop marks its 53rd M&A deal.