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Johnson Controls to take ownership stake in Hitachi Appliances for commercial AC dominance

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Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls Inc., with building-efficiency-segment operations in York County, has reached a memorandum of understanding with Hitachi that it says will position Johnson Controls as the world's largest commercial air conditioning provider.

The companies have signed a nonbinding memorandum of understanding for Johnson Controls to obtain a 60-percent ownership stake, excluding sales and service operations in Japan and other certain assets, in the global air conditioning business of Hitachi Appliances Inc., according to a news release.

Hitachi Appliances is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd., a global electronics and infrastructure solutions provider based in Japan.

The venture will combine Hitachi’s expertise in technology with the global reach of Johnson Controls, the release stated.

Terms were not disclosed by Johnson Controls, which is building a new campus in southern York County estimated to cost more than $150 million.

The company’s current York-area campus became part of Johnson Controls’ building-efficiency business, which includes air conditioning, through its acquisition of York International in 2005.

“Alongside with this joint venture, we look forward to exploring further opportunities to collaborate with Johnson Controls and Hitachi’s broad building solution business capitalizing on IT-related technologies,” Hitachi Ltd. President Hiroaki Nakanishi said in the statement. The companies anticipate the joint venture starting operations next year, the release stated.

Johnson Controls is a global company creating products and services for the energy and operational efficiencies of buildings, batteries for vehicles and interior systems for automobiles.

Shares of the company are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol JCI.

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