U.S. boiler manufacturer ECR International announced Dec. 23 that its shareholders have approved the sale of the company to BDR Thermea, a Dutch heating products group with its global headquarters in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands. The acquisition brings together two privately owned companies that have been in business for almost 90 years in the United States and for more than 300 years in Europe.  

BDR Thermea, the third-largest heating manufacturer in Europe operating in 70 countries, approached ECR about the deal as the Dutch firm saw opportunities to expand its existing brands in the North American market through ECR’s distribution network, ECR President and CEO Ron Passafaro told Plumbing & Mechanical. In turn, ECR, with brands focused more on residential condensing boiler technology, will have increased access to the commercial condensing boiler market through BDR.

BDR markets its De Dietrich and Baxi brands in the United States; its North American operations will be integrated into the new company, operated under the ECR International name, said BDR Thermea CEO Rob Van Banning. The company will continue to be managed by Passafaro and the current ECR leadership team.

Passafaro emphasized that ECR does not intend to close any manufacturing plants or lay off personnel, and products will continue to be sold under the ECR family of brands — Dunkirk, Utica Boilers, Olsen, Airco, Pennco, RetroAire, Argo and EMI. New and innovative products are slated to be added to ECR’s brands and facilities, which will be the subject of an initial visit to ECR by Banning and other BDR leaders in January 2016.   

While hydronic heating professionals will see a “more robust” product offering in the future, Passafaro noted that attendees of the 2016 AHR Expo — Jan. 25-27 in Orlando, Fla. — may see some of the new products at ECR’s booth, providing them with more choices to meet residential and commercial customers’ needs and applications.

Stay tuned for additional information in the February issue of Supply House Times.