Canadian Manufacturing

Whirlpool acquires majority position in Italian firm

The US$1 billion deal announced June 11 will give Whirlpool 66.8 per cent of Italy-based appliance maker Indesit

BENTON HARBOR, Mich.—Whirlpool will pay more than $1 billion for a controlling stake in Indesit, the appliance maker’s counterpart in Italy.

The deal announced June 11 will give the U.S. company 66.8 per cent of Indesit’s voting stock. Whirlpool also owns Maytag, KitchenAid and other brands.

“We believe this will ideally position us for sustainable growth in the highly competitive and increasingly global home appliance market in Europe,” Whirlpool Chairman and CEO Jeff Fettig said.

Whirlpool has been working on strengthening its presence overseas. Last year it agreed to acquire a majority stake in Chinese appliance maker Hefei Rongshida Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd. for about $552 million.

The Benton Harbor manufacturer will be buying a 42.7 per cent interest in Indesit Co. from Fineldo, an Italian engineering company, and a 17.6 per cent stake from the Merloni family, which founded the company.

Whirlpool said that it plans to finance the deal with available cash and debt financing.

The stock purchase agreements with Fineldo and the Merloni family are expected to close by year’s end.

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