Is consolidation the key to growth in the European heat pump market? Our take on the Stiebel Eltron Thermia acquisition

The Stiebel Eltron Group has announced its acquisition of Thermia Heat Pumps, the heat pump arm of Danfoss A/S, for an unspecified amount.
Published: Mon 07 May 2018
A blog entry by Felicity Tolley

Contributed by:

Felicity Tolley
Product Manager - Electrification of Heat
Delta Energy & Environment

Felicity Tolley's Blog

The Stiebel Eltron Group has announced its acquisition of Thermia Heat Pumps (previously known as Danfoss Värmepumpar AB), the heat pump arm of Danfoss A/S, for an unspecified amount.

Thermia is the third largest supplier of HPs in the Nordic heat pump market, making up between 13 and 21% of hydronic heat pump sales in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, worth 68 million euro per year. Danfoss A/S originally acquired Thermia Heat Pumps in 2005, but they have remained largely as two separate business units since, despite efforts to consolidate the business areas.

This appears to be the approach taken by Stiebel Eltron too, as press releases state that it will be business as usual for sales of Thermia Heat Pumps, with the same staff in place. This is a positive step for Thermia and Stiebel Eltron for the following reasons: Their product ranges are very complementary. Stiebel Eltron has a strong background in air-source heat pumps and has been working to develop their non-residential capability. Efforts here include the acquisition of a 35% stake in Ochsner Wärmepumpen GmbH and launch of a joint venture for the development of large (1-2MW) heat pumps.

Thermia has substantial experience in non-residential size heat pumps, with growing success in recent years. Thermia’s larger capacity brine-water heat pump expertise is also of value here. Their market presences mutually extend each other’s reach Thermia has a strong position in the more mature Nordic markets, while Stiebel Eltron’s main HP operations are in Germany and the surrounding countries. A combined Thermia and Stiebel Eltron business has a new competitive edge in the Nordic and Germanic markets, if not further afield.

Stiebel Eltron states that they aim to develop “common technical platforms and purchasing activities”, indicating a plan to build on the momentum of the acquisition by creating synergies across the two brands and their routes to market. This is a major development for the European heat pump world. This acquisition not only adds to Stiebel Eltron’s strong position in the electrically-driven heating market, but enables them to more easily compete with larger, traditional heating companies, through the acquisition of more extensive installer networks in new markets (both geographically and technically).

The addition of Thermia’s products and market presence to an already strong and diverse electric portfolio and market reach will help Stiebel Eltron on their way to becoming a leader in the field of Electrification of Heat.