Munters is shutting down data centre operations in EMEA

Following ongoing disappointments, and reductions in 2018.
Air conditioning and Climate Control Specialist Munters will be winding down its data centre business in EMEA, and is planning to close a specialised factory in Dison, Belgium. According to local publication RTBF, 216 jobs are at risk. The restructuring plan was revealed in 2018 financial results, released last week. The decision follows a quarter for the company: despite a number of orders in 2017, the data centre division reported a loss for the last 3 months of 2018.

Consequently, Munters will take a write down of SEK 323 million connected to its data centre operations. The company’s entire range of data centre products will stay available.

No longer with us

Munters has been developing solutions for air therapy. The company is active in the food, pharmaceuticals, electronics, agriculture and mission critical infrastructure sectors, and is majority owned by Nordic Capital. Following a unsatisfactory year, Munters is focusing on a significant restructuring initiative which will see its data centre business considerably reduced in size. The 3 phase plan was among the first decisions to be announced under the interim president and CEO Ek.

Back in December, worried on the group’s financial performance, Munters board of company directors decided that it was time of his predecessor, John Peter Leesi, that took the company’s public in 2017, to depart. There were also significant changes to the table itself. The 4th quarter performance was characterized by inviting tendencies in many of our activities, but additionally ongoing disappointments from the data centre business, Ek said in a statement. Data centers continue their negative tendency, reporting a loss in the quarter derived in the European business. The continued reductions in data centers, and also the group earnings for year 2018 being in the same level as last year, are unsatisfying.

He, & rdquo added that the problems seemed to be caused by tight margins, as opposed to slow growth. In addition to writing off SEK 323 million directly, Munters will also spend about SEK 350 million to restructure its business and closes the factory in Belgium. The company is also investigating other options, such as partnerships and divestiture of assets, any job cuts or center closures will be subject to consultation with the relevant employee representative bodies, i.e. Belgian unions. Munters will continue to sell data centre goods in the usa and Canada, and operate its data centre and an air treatment equipment factory in Buena Vista. On the other hand, the data centre division won’t keep its liberty, and will be incorporated into the Air Therapy business unit throughout the first quarter of 2019.

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