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Horizon's Aquaheat to buy Hawkins Refrigeration to build national business

Tuesday 21st October 2014

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Aquaheat New Zealand, a unit of Horizon Energy Distribution, is to buy Christchurch-based Hawkins Refrigeration to expand its national reach, retaining existing owners and managers to run the business.

Horizon didn't immediately disclose the purchase price for the conditional deal, which is effective Nov. 3 and chief executive Ajay Anand said it wasn't material given the size of his company's balance sheet.

"Hawkins Refrigeration complements the existing national Aquaheat business and comes with a strong track record within the industrial refrigeration segment," Anand said.

Hawkins' owners Troy Ireland, Blair Piggot, and Mike Heaps will continue under the new ownership and the business will be led by Ireland, the company said. Retaining existing managers ensured Aquaheat gained "the significant amount of IP" from the acquisition, Anand said.

Aquaheat is one of two 'unregulated' business units of Eastern Bay of Plenty lines company Horizon, which reached an out-of-court settlement last month with the Commerce Commission, which had deemed it earned more than allowed under regulated pricing rules in its 2012 year.

The Aquaheat refrigeration business contributed a profit of $600,000 to Horizon in 2014 from a year-earlier loss that was driven by its exposure to the Mainzeal Group collapse. The other non-regulated business is Horizon Services, which does contract maintenance work in the Bay of Plenty across everything from security and air conditioning services to gardening.

Shares of Horizon were unchanged at $3.30, valuing the company at $82.5 million.


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