Johnson Controls announced Jan. 21 that it is buying a 60 percent stake in Hitachi Appliances Inc.’s $2.6 billion global HVAC market business.

The deal will bring variable-refrigerant flow, inverter technology-using room air conditioners and absorption chillers into the Johnson Controls HVAC sales portfolio. It will build on both companies’ distribution and research and development efforts, the companies said.

“For Johnson Controls, this partnership reflects our strategic commitment to our buildings business as a growth platform,” said Johnson Controls’ chairman and CEO, Alex Molinaroli. “The joint venture will propel us forward with superior products, enabling Johnson Controls to deliver the most diverse technology portfolio in the industry to meet customer demands across the changing global marketplace.”

Pending regulatory approvals, the sale is expected to close sometime in 2015. It excludes Hitachi’s Japan-based HVAC sales and service operations.

Hiroaki Nakanishi, chairman and chief executive of the Japan-based electronics giant, said the agreement is a good one for his company.

 “The worldwide HVAC market is continuing to grow steadily, and the demand for energy efficient air conditioning systems with state-of-the-art technologies is expanding,” he said. “As air-conditioning systems are a key building block for building solutions, we believe this partnership will allow Hitachi and Johnson Controls to deliver the best solutions for our customers. Furthermore, in addition to air-conditioning systems, we will be able to provide other building solutions that will enhance efficiencies throughout buildings, as well as surrounding areas.”