A. O. Smith Completes Lochinvar Acquisition, Enters Into Government Contract On Aug. 29, Milwaukee-based A. O. Smith Corp. finished its acquisition of Lochinvar Corp. for approximately $418 million. The deal was funded from A. O. Smith's cash and revolving credit facility. The Federal Trade Commission terminated the Hart-Scott-Rodino waiting period pertaining to the transaction and gave a stamp of approval on the deal to A. O. Smith. Lochinvar is a leading manufacturer of high-efficiency boilers used in commercial and residential hydronic heating and hot water applications. A. O. Smith said the acquisition will grow earnings by 10 cents per share in the fourth quarter of 2011, excluding one-time purchase accounting charges and professional fees related to the acquisition. In 2012, the company expects a growth of 40 to 50 cents per share in 2012. "The addition of Lochinvar represents an excellent fit with our strategy to become a leading global water technology company," said Paul Jones, chairman and CEO of A. O. Smith. "Lochinvar is a well-known and widely respected brand in our industry, and their emphasis on energy products, world-class quality and outstanding customer service fit well with our existing water heater business." In other news, A. O. Smith has entered into a contract with the U.S. General Services Administration to allow the water heater manufacturer to easily interact with federal, state and local government agencies in need of commercial water heaters and boilers. Government agencies can now buy A.O. Smith products via the GSA Advantage website. The GSA listing has more that 50 of its best-selling commercial units, including Cyclone and Master-Fit commercial gas and Gold Series commercial electric water heaters, as well as Genesis and VF gas boilers. Sales from GSA schedules were estimated at $38.8 billion during the 2010 fiscal year. "A.O. Smith is thrilled to have entered this contract with GSA," Senior Product Manager Matt Schulz said. "This agreement will not only prove beneficial for A.O. Smith, but will also ensure that our government agencies are getting the water heating products that meet their performance and energy saving requirements." GSA contracts are typically open-ended, five-year agreements listing negotiated pricing on specified products. PEOPLE ON THE MOVE Slant/Fin hired Chris Anastasi as a factory sales representative for Connecticut. Anastasi will provide service and represent the factory to wholesalers and contractors. Also, he will initiate training and programs to drive contractor business through Slant/Fin distributors in the area. The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) has hired Chris Stone as a senior advisor. Stone will work with AHRI staff and its members to evaluate certification testing to ensure adherence to requirements. Haws Corp. promoted Sam Sarver to director of Sales in North America and Vic Strandberg to director of Research and Development. Both of the moves were designed to continue growth and strength for the company. Sarver has been with Haws since 2005 and will take responsibility for all domestic sales activities. Strandberg will assume all the responsibilities for R&D project management and will continue his management of all operational aspects of product engineering. OBITUARIES Geraldine (Rejcek) Neslony, co-owner of locally owned and family-operated HVAC Plus in Oklahoma City since 2002, passed away Aug. 12, after a long battle with brain cancer. Curt Brown, who assisted and provided feedback in HARDI's efforts to develop new products and services, died Aug. 10. After serving in the Marine Corps, he graduated from college and later spent most of his career in finance most recently as the chief financial officer of Famous Enterprises Inc. ThermaSol Joins Forte Buying Group The Forte Buying Group recently welcomed ThermaSol, a manufacturer of steam shower products since 1958, to its organization. Forte is an elite group of manufacturers that sell limited distribution products in leading decorative plumbing and hardware showrooms across North America. ThermaSol says this partnership comes at an important time as the company continues to advance steam shower technology and fixtures. Earlier in 2011, ThermaSol became the first steam shower manufacturer to include Bluetooth technology in packages, as well as fog-free mirrors and the Modern Collection of Steam Controls with Temp-Touch and Signature Series controls. "It is an honor to be a Forte Preferred Vendor since only those vendors who can bring value to the group are selected," President of ThermaSol Jari Ristola said. "Our membership gives us the opportunity to introduce the ThermaSol brand to their loyal customer base of over 250 showrooms throughout the United States and Canada." HD Supply To Sell HVAC, Plumbing Business To Hajoca Atlanta-based HD Supply, No. 2 on Supply House Times' 2011 Premier 150 ranking, agreed to sell its plumbing and HVAC business Aug. 25 to Hajoca Corp., No. 10 on the 2011 ranking. Transaction details were not disclosed; the sale is expected to be completed this month. "After carefully evaluating the opportunities, we determined that a sale of our Plumbing/HVAC business to Hajoca Corp. was in the best interests of our company as a whole and would be a good strategic fit for both businesses," HD Supply told Modern Distribution Management magazine a day after the announcement. Uponor Kicks Off Free Webinar Series Uponor has six new, one-hour Webinars for industry professionals on the move. The programs feature information on radiant applications to controls to sustainable building resources. All Webinars are from 1 to 2 p.m. Central Standard Time and recorded Webinars are also available for download on the Uponorpro.com site under the "Web Training" section. For more information and the schedule of the Webinars, visit http://uponor.oreilly-depalma. com/2011/webinar-series-pro.shtml. Near-Record Heat Unable To Stem Decline In Distributor Growth HARDI announced that North American HVACR average distributors sales for July 2011 rose 4.9% from July 2010, but it was a decline from June 2011 6.8% growth. July marked the fifth out of the last six months in which annual distributor growth rate declined. HARDI's monthly Targeted and Regional Economic News for Distribution Strategies (TRENDS) showed growth in five of seven U.S. regions. Canada had its best month of 2011, up 10%. Inventory was up in every North American region for the third straight month. Days Sales Outstanding is under 50 days after five months of consecutive increases. June's 30% increase in distributor productivity reflected by sales per employee regressed to almost 10% as July's sales didn't meet distributor expectations. HARDI also announced that it will use a Web-based mobile conference app to deliver information to participants at HARDI's 2011 Annual Conference Oct. 23-26 in Hawaii.The app has many modules that allow attendees to select agenda items they plan to attend populate their schedule, navigate through the hotel and many other tasks. Also, booth participants will be able to share their contact and social media information, company bios and links to their websites.
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