Johnson Controls, Inc. and Hitachi, Ltd. and Hitachi Appliances, Inc. (collectively referred to as Hitachi) have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding for a transaction in which Johnson Controls will obtain a 60-percent ownership stake in Hitachi's global air conditioning business, excluding sales and service operations in Japan and certain other assets.

The companies expect the joint venture to begin operations in 2014, subject to final due diligence and board approvals, definitive agreement on terms, required regulatory approvals and other customary conditions.

The partnership will include key products such as variable-refrigerant flow (VRF) and inverter technologies supporting both the commercial and residential markets. The joint venture will combine Johnson Controls' global reach with Hitachi's technology expertise.

"Technology leadership derived from its ongoing investments in research and development have established Hitachi as a key contributor to the global HVAC industry," Alex Molinaroli, president and chief executive officer, Johnson Controls, said. "The addition of these capabilities adds key technologies to our product portfolio. Combined with our existing $15 billion building technologies and services business, this investment positions Johnson Controls as the world's largest commercial air conditioning provider.

"This is great news for our customers who will benefit from the full range of solutions, equipment and service that Johnson Controls and Hitachi can offer them on a global scale," Molinaroli said.

A global home appliances and air conditioning solutions provider, Hitachi Appliances, a wholly owned subsidiary of leading global electronics and infrastructure solutions provider Hitachi, Ltd., supplies air-conditioning solutions across the globe, from inverter-based residential room air conditioners to variable-refrigerant-flow systems, and other air conditioning equipment for commercial and industrial use.

"Both companies have a long and proud history of innovation and growth in the industry with similar values and cultures," Hiroaki Nakanishi, president of Hitachi, Ltd., aid. "As the worldwide air conditioning business environment continues to evolve, we believe Johnson Controls and Hitachi's partnership can supply integrated solutions to fulfill the needs of customers around the world.

"Alongside with this joint venture, we look forward to exploring further opportunities to collaborate with Johnson Controls and Hitachi's broad building solution business capitalizing on IT-related technologies," Nakanishi said.

For more information about Johnson Controls, visit www.johnsoncontrols.com.

For more information on Hitachi, visit www.hitachi.com.