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, saw opportunities to expand its existing brands in the North American market through ECR’s distribution network, ECR President and CEO Ron Passafarotold 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.

“It’s a transaction we’ve been working on for a while now and it made sense from both companies’ perspectives,” he said. “From our perspective, BDR is going to significantly enhance our high-efficiency boiler technology and product line positions, which is the fastest-growing segment in the residential and commercial boiler market. It’s also going to give us access to commercial boilers and open up a new market for ECR.”

Passafaro added that the size of BDR will allow ECR to increase its competitiveness in the marketplace. And BDR will acquire ECR’s manufacturing facilities, existing brands and distribution channels.

The company will operate under the ECR International name and continue to be managed by Passafaro and the current ECR leadership team. Sales and technical support will remain the same.

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.

“ECR’s engineering department will convert BDR’s European technology to American regulations and standards,” Passafaro explained, “manufacturing them here at our facilities as we add them to our current product lines, and then sending them down the distribution channel through our brands and customer base.”   

He called the deal a “transaction of more — more products, more technology, more competitiveness and more opportunity.”