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Southampton: Ingersoll Rand acquires ICS Cool Energy

By Dan Teuton
24 January 2018

Ingersoll Rand plc, a world leader in creating comfortable, sustainable and efficient environments, has announced the acquisition of Southampton-based ICS Cool Energy, which will be part of the company’s commercial heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) business.

ICS Cool Energy is a £50 million international market leader for temperature control solutions that keep all types and sizes of businesses and industry running, worldwide.

Spectrum Corporate Finance advised the owners of ICS Cool Energy on the deal. Spectrum acted as lead advisers to the owners, completing a marketing and sales process which attracted the attention of numerous potential industry buyers as well as private equity acquirers. Ingersoll Rand stood out due to its strong strategic synergy with ICS Cool Energy. Once selected as a preferred partner Spectrum helped structure the deal and project manage the process through to a successful completion within just four months from initiation, delivering 'an excellent outcome' for the owners.

ICS Cool Energy is a privately-owned temperature control and HVAC solutions and services company that specialises in temporary rental of energy efficient chillers for commercial and industrial buildings across Europe. It also sells, permanently installs and services high performance temperature control systems for all types of industrial processes.

ICS was originally formed in 1989 by Jeff Spolnik and Phil Wilson as Industrial Cooling Systems. The company began with two UK offices, in Bradford and Southampton. Expansion continued in the mid-nineties, with the company opening an office in Ireland to manage all aspects of sales, service and rental for the Irish market.

In the mid-2000s, Cool Energy, a specialist temperature hire company was formed, later expanding into Europe before merging with Industrial Cooling Services, as well as ICS Tricool Thermal, ICS Air Conditioning, ICS Heat Pumps, ICS Service, to form ICS Cool Energy in 2014.

“ICS Cool Energy is a leader in the high margin rental services business with a reputation for strong customer service, helping building owners enhance productivity and reduce environmental impact,” said Dave Regnery, executive vice-president of Ingersoll Rand. “This acquisition is a strong fit with our Trane business, and strengthens our growth plans and ability to serve a broader range of customers in the important European market.” Trane is a subsidiary of Ingersoll Rand.

“We are excited to be part of Ingersoll Rand because of its market leadership, strong values and commitment to customers,” said Simon West, group CEO for ICS Cool Energy. “Our track record of customer service, our footprint and our capabilities in temporary rental services are complementary to the Trane business. Together, we will create even greater value for European customers.”

The company is headquartered in Totton, Southampton and has an extensive footprint in the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Group chief executive of ICS Cool Energy, Simon West, will remain the business leader. Commenting on the sale, West said: “Spectrum Corporate Finance were appointed advisors delivering an excellent result for the shareholders. The experienced team, led by Clive Hatchard and supported by Darren Miller and James Mines, was a pleasure to work with, keeping all parties informed along the way ensuring a successful completion in line with expected timescales. Their depth of knowledge of our business and attention to detail in all aspects of the sale was a key factor in the success of the project.”

Clive Hatchard, managing director at Spectrum Corporate Finance, commented: “This was an extremely competitive process, with lots of interest from international trade parties as well as financial institutions due to the quality of the ICS Cool Energy business. It has grown significantly in recent years across both its hire business as well as in its mainland European operations in France, Holland and Germany. ICS Cool Energy is well positioned for the next stage of development within the Ingersoll Rand family where there are many complimentary aspects with the Trane division.”

ICS is at number 73 in the latest Solent 250 listing, with a turnover of £52.8m and 282 employees.