Swiss company Zehnder expands footprint in the Netherlands

19 March 2019 3 min. read

Swiss company Zehnder has acquired Netherlands-based Recair, a producer of energy-efficient heat exchangers. The deal was advised on by M&A consultants from three firms: Baker Tilly, Dommerholt Advocaten and De Jong & Laan.

Zehnder Group is one of Europe's larger producers of radiators, cooling systems and ventilation systems for interior spaces. The company serves both the consumer segment – such as apartments and houses – as well as the business segments – including hospitals, offices, schools, sports halls and warehouses. 

The Swiss company entered the Dutch market in 2002 when it acquired StorkAir. Now, seventeen years down the line, Zehnder has closed its second acquisition in the Benelux country. With the addition, the manufacturer expands its market share in heat exchangers for the residential market. Recair develops, produces and sells energy-efficient heat exchangers that have been developed primarily for use in ventilation units for residential construction. The company exports its products to more than 25 countries.

Swiss company Zehnder expands footprint in the Netherlands

“To remain leading, major investments are needed. Under the Zehnder umbrella the future of Recair is guaranteed,” said Henk Reijneveld and Gerard Merkx, the two shareholders of the Waalwijk company. The pair look back on a professional and pleasant acquisition process: “The entire transaction went smoothly.” 

This process was advised on by Baker Tilly Corporate Finance, the M&A arm of accounting and consulting firm Baker Tilly. “In close consultation with Lorijn van Leersum and Bas van Klaveren [the dealmakers] a list of potential buyers was drawn up,” said Reijneveld. “With the help of the international network of Baker Tilly, potential buyers were approached anonymously and, after signing a confidentiality agreement, the parties have received the information memorandum from Recair. As a result of this process, several parties decided to make a bid. We entered into discussions with these parties, and Zehnder emerged as the most suitable candidate.”

With the buyer clearly in sight, Baker Tilly set up the data room to facilitate the due diligence process, after which the firm supported Recair with drafting and negotiating the various contracts. The legal aspects of the transaction were supported by colleagues Marcel Ploegsma and Lex Janssens. Meanwhile, at the other side of the deal table, M&A advisers from Dommerholt Advocaten (Edo Nijdam and Rick van Betten) and De Jong & Laan (Peter Miedema) took responsibility for supporting Zehnder’s interests.

As part of the integration, Recair will continue as an independent entity within the Zehnder Group. All employees have transferred to the new owner, with the two founders of the company staying on board. 

The market for heat exchangers and other heat systems is currently undergoing strong growth. Due to the growing need for sustainable housing and the focus on more healthy and comfortable working environments in offices, demand for such products and solutions is on the rise. According to a study by a US-based analyst firm, global spending on heating, ventilating and air-conditioning products have grown to over $65 billion. Among the largest players in the segment are companies such as Johnson Controls, Honeywell, Daikin, Lennox, Ingersoll Rand, Samsung Electronics and Siemens Building Technologies.