Secop is a manufacturer of compressors for refrigeration equipment. The company was acquired in 2019 by the investment fund ESSVP IV. The background to the transaction was the antitrust decision by the European Commission and Commissioner Margrethe Vestager that Japanese previous owner Nidec could only acquire Brazilian compressor manufacturer Embraco from the U.S. Whirlpool Group if Nidec in turn divested Secop. At the time, Secop had about 1,800 employees and annual sales of over €300 million. The focus was on the production of compressors for the Household, Light Commercial and Mobile Cooling market segments. There were three production sites: Austria (Fürstenfeld), Slovakia (Zlaté Moravce) and China (Tianjin).
Management Factory provided the CFO of Secop Holding on an interim basis from Sept. to Nov. 2019 and the CEO of the Austrian subsidiary to be restructured from Oct. 2019 to Sept. 2020. After a complete closure of the Austrian production site had to be announced on Oct. 22, 2019, the company succeeded in 2020 in winning Nidec as a follow-up tenant for the production site in Fürstenfeld, thus preserving some of the jobs in Styria.
- Withdrawal of Secop from the unprofitable Household business and strategic realignment to the Light Commercial and Mobile Cooling segments. Bundling of compressor production at sites in China and Slovakia.
- With the approval of the European Commission, resale of the Delta Household line in Fürstenfeld to Nidec.
- Transfer of the Kappa line from Fürstenfeld to Secop’s sister plant in Zlaté Moravce, Slovakia.
- Handover of the Fürstenfeld production site to Nidec. Implementation of a TSA (transitional service agreement) for the period June 2020 to January 2021.
- Multi-stakeholder management, including European Commission, local politicians, owners, management, unions, workers’ council and numerous consultancy companies.
- Active and complex public relations work.
- Negotiation and signing of a social plan and a labour foundation.
- Search for a new location for Secop in Austria: relocation of the R&D to Gleisdorf in August 2020.
- Covid-19 measures to protect employees and reduce costs.