AP News

Lennox wants to sell residential service business

DALLAS (AP) — Lennox International Inc. wants to sell a unit whose dealer-contractors install and service residential heating and cooling equipment, saying Friday that it doesn't need to own the network of 108 branches.

There has been interest from potential acquirers as the housing market recovered in the U.S., said CEO Todd Bluedorn. Lennox, which is based in Dallas, doesn't need to own the network because it is also affiliated with thousands of independent dealers and contractors across North America, he said. The company also plans to set up a supply agreement with the acquirer of the unit.

Last year, the division up for sale posted $529 million in revenue. Of that, $80 million came from the commercial service business, which Lennox says it's keeping. The company's total revenue came to $3.3 billion in 2011.

Starting in the third quarter, Lennox said it will report the residential operations of the Service Experts business segment as discontinued operations.

The company also maintained its adjusted profit forecast from continuing operations of $2.35 to $2.65 per share for the year. Analysts, on average, expect a profit of $2.53 per share, according to a FactSet poll.

Lennox shares rose $1.41, or 2.9 percent, to $50.40 in afternoon trading Friday.

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