Rheem Mfg. Co. and Paloma Industries of Japan have reached agreement to acquire the Australasian water heater business of Southcorp Holdings Ltd., effective Dec. 31.

The acquisition includes Southcorp's water heater business in Australia and New Zealand, plus its solar water heater company, Solahart, also based in Australia, along with Southcorp's interest in Hotstream, a joint venture in China.

The transaction does not include Southcorp's American Water Heater Co., based in Johnson City, Tenn. Rheem operates three water heater production facilities in Australia and New Zealand.