Whirlpool to buy 51% stake in China white goods maker

Controlling interest to cost $552m

Employees assemble washing machines on the production line inside a factory of Hefei Rongshida Sanyo Electric in Hefei, Anhui province, yesterday. Photograph: Reuters

Employees assemble washing machines on the production line inside a factory of Hefei Rongshida Sanyo Electric in Hefei, Anhui province, yesterday. Photograph: Reuters

 

Home appliance maker Whirlpool said it will acquire a controlling stake in Hefei Rongshida Sanyo Electric for $552 million to expand in China’s fast-growing market for washing machines and fridges.

Hefei Sanyo was set up in 1994 as a joint venture between Japan’s Sanyo Electric, now a unit of Panasonic, and Heifei State-owned Assets Holding Company Ltd, the investment arm of the local government.

“Whirlpool has a strong presence in China’s higher tier segments. This acquisition allows the company to build on, complement, and grow its position in the emerging Chinese market,” said chief executive Jeff Fettig.

The deal will help the world’s largest appliance maker boost its business in Asia, which contributed just 5 per cent to its total sales of $4.7 billion the second quarter. – (Reuters)