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Williams Distributing Co. (Williams), a distribution powerhouse for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment and residential building products in the Great Lakes region, has been acquired by Daikin Comfort Technologies North America Inc. (Daikin). With Williams’ territory covering a significant portion of the Midwest, this strategic acquisition supports Daikin’s vision to expand the use of inverter heat pump technology in cold climates. Williams’ Northern location provides additional cold climate product testing and development opportunities for Daikin’s innovative, cold climate technologies, providing access to resources and people with advanced field expertise for continued research and development.
Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Williams is one of several regional distributor acquisitions made in recent years by Daikin – a subsidiary of Daikin Industries Ltd. (DIL), the largest manufacturer of HVAC systems worldwide – as the indoor comfort provider continues to strengthen its contractor relationships, services, and product offerings across North America.
Founded in 1968, the full-service distributor of HVAC products uniquely brings to Daikin a rich mix of residential building products for builders, contractors, consumers, and architects serving the kitchen and bath, plumbing, garage door and hearth markets. Williams Distributing is a nationally recognized distributor and supplier for these building products of which Daikin is excited to incorporate into their portfolio. Known for a deep inventory of available products, exclusive relationships with key brands and robust customer service, Williams operates 32 locations, including 27 dedicated HVAC sales counters, across Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. Second and third generation family members owned and operated the full-service distribution business, leading 575 skilled, long-tenured employees.
“During this journey, Daikin was able to separate themselves with their professionalism and support,” remarked Jim Williams, former chairman of the board and majority owner for Williams. “As I evaluated opportunities, it became apparent to me that Daikin’s strong focus on people, access to leading technology, along with its commitment to growth and industry leadership, solidified my confidence that the best future for the entire Williams team was to be led by Daikin. Our experience with Daikin has proven that its people-centered management philosophy meshes perfectly with our mission. We’re thrilled to join the world’s number one indoor comfort solutions provider, sharing a vision that we believe leads to bright futures for both employees and customers alike.”
“Bringing Williams Distributing with its skilled team members, attentive customer service and extensive locations into the Daikin family strengthens our position in the Great Lakes region,” said Takayuki Inoue, executive vice president and chief sales and marketing officer for Daikin. “Williams has long been an important, successful partner for Daikin, Daikin Applied, Goodman and Amana brand HVAC products. The acquisition of this outstanding distributor is another significant step on our path to make Daikin the No. 1 indoor comfort solutions provider in North America.”
Attaining double-digit growth for three straight years, Williams recently expanded its HVAC parts and accessories portfolio by acquiring the business of Shoemaker Inc., a distributor of HVAC, hydronics and plumbing supplies serving Michigan and Indiana.
Demand for HVAC in the Great Lakes region surpasses many areas of the country, according to Heating, Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI), an industry association. The region has seen some of the largest growth in ducted HVAC shipments of any region over the past five years, according to a HARDI market intelligence report.
Williams is regularly honored by its vendors with annual awards based on customer service, speed of delivery and extensive product availability. Williams even earned the coveted Harold V. Goodman award – named for the legendary founder of Goodman Air Conditioning & Heating, a brand owned by Daikin and manufactured at the sprawling Daikin Texas Technology Park just outside Houston, home to more than 7,000 employees.
“The Williams family relationship with Daikin brands goes back more than 50 years, beginning with Amana brand HVAC and eventually becoming the largest independent Goodman distributor in the region,” said Jeffrey Beaton, president and chief operating officer of Williams. “Joining Daikin makes for an exciting evolution of our long-standing partnership. We look forward to continuing what Williams is known for: differentiating through a broad inventory of available product, 24- to 48-hour delivery, best-in-class salesforce, extensive training, robust technical support and customer service.”
The Williams deal follows the December 2022 acquisition of Venstar Inc., a prominent controls and energy management systems provider, as Daikin works to transform the North American HVAC market with its innovative indoor comfort technologies – including high-performing inverter and heat pump solutions, and products featuring R-32, an open-source refrigerant with one-third the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of the most used refrigerants in the U.S. and Canada.