Senior figures at Gram Commercial were influential in brokering the deal that saw parent company Hoshizaki purchase catering manufacturer Ozti – and are currently involved in implementing changes at its Turkish refrigeration factory.
Hoshizaki instantly boosted its refrigeration scale outside of Japan when it announced a deal in November to acquire nearly 29% of Ozti’s shares, rising to 51% over the next three years.
Both parties already knew each other well before the agreement as Ozti manufactures Denmark-based Gram’s entry level Snowflake range, which comprises seven main products with multiple configurations.
Anders Sjøgaard, one of two senior directors at Gram Commercial, was heavily involved in executing the deal and has visited the Ozti plant on more than 15 occasions over the past two years.
He said it would allow the firm to remain competitive at the price-sensitive end of the market.
“In order to go into that market further, we have actually been reshaping the factory [in Turkey] to suit the demands of our customers and it made sense just to go into it financially to control [the business].
“Our team has been down there and restructured the whole production, together with Ozti, creating SOPs [standard operation procedures] and quality tests. We stand behind their quality – they have improved tremendously.”
Ozti will operate as a group company within Hoshizaki but when it comes to technical matters Gram Commercial has full responsibility for developments. However, there are currently no plans to rebrand the business, Mr Sjøgaard said.
“We know they are in the market together with us – competing with us actually at this point – and we see no reason to change that. They make a specific line for us and that is where we are focusing, to keep that high quality. They do other things which we haven’t been involved in so far but I am sure we will.
“Ozti is a really well-known company, it has a huge production operation that is very wide-ranging; they are probably the biggest gastropan producer in Europe. They are in a situation where they also need to have a new plant built and we will be part of that. This [acquisition] is a long-term move.”