OSAKA (Kyodo) Daikin Industries Ltd. plans to acquire O.Y.L. Industries Bhd of Malaysia for about 230 billion yen in a deal that would make it the world’s second-largest maker of air conditioners, sources said Thursday.

The step is intended to strengthen Daikin’s air conditioner business in North America, the sources said. O.Y.L., a listed Malaysian company under the Hong Leong Group, the country’s biggest conglomerate, has major U.S. air conditioner maker McQuay International under its wing.

Daikin was the world’s third-largest air conditioner producer in fiscal 2005, with the division’s annual sales totaling 640 billion yen, compared with 660 billion yen at Trane Co. and 1.38 trillion yen at Carrier Corp., both U.S. firms.

The planned deal would move Daikin up to second place by boosting its annual sales by 30 percent to 825 billion yen.

Daikin will first buy a nearly 50 percent stake in O.Y.L. from the Hong Leong Group and later launch a public tender offer to obtain the remaining stake to make the company a wholly owned subsidiary by this fall, the sources said.

Daikin is strong in Japan and Europe. After repeated entry into and withdrawal from the North American market, Daikin established a sales company in Texas last year on its third attempt.

The company decided to buy O.Y.L., as the dominant air conditioning format there is different from Japan’s.

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