Effective 9 December 2011, GEA Refrigeration Technologies acquired the assets, operations, production facilities, and patents of the companies QPM LLC and QPM Manufacturing LLC, of Bellevue, Washington, USA: providers of special conveyor-belt solutions. QPM is a prominent supplier of special steel conveyor belts that assure reliable transport of food products in ovens and freezers. “The acquisition of QPM means that GEA Refrigeration Technologies now has proprietary access to technology that allows expansion of our freezer portfolio,” says Dr. Hugo Blaum, President of GEA Refrigeration Technologies and Member of the Executive Board of GEA Group.
The acquisition also includes take-over of QPM staff. Production will remain in Bellevue. Company operations will be integrated into the legal structure of GEA Refrigeration Technologies North America. Management of operations will be under the direction of freezing specialists based at GEA Aerofreeze in Vancouver, Canada. Jim Heber, the majority owner of QPM, will stay on contract with GEA to allow for a smooth transition and integration into GEA Refrigeration Technologies. Michael Wierman, a minority owner, will join GEA as the Operations Manager located in Bellevue. Steven Loitz, also a minority owner, will continue to operate his private law practice and will not join GEA. Mr. Heber and Mr. Wierman – who were top company management as well as developers – will now contribute their expertise to the GEA development team for freezers.
Guido Beyss, Vice President Technologies, hailed the integration of QPM into the portfolio of GEA Refrigeration Technologies: “These specialist conveyor belts are an important ancillary supplement to our freezers and chillers. We will now be able to develop and manufacture the core components of our next generation of freezers and chillers on a one-stop basis. Furthermore, we will enjoy our share of the lucrative market of preventive and restorative maintenance of such conveyor belts.”