Whirlpool Corporation completed its acquisition of a majority interest (51%) in Hefei Rongshida Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd., a home appliances manufacturer in Hefei, China.
The company will be renamed Whirlpool China Co., Ltd. and will remain listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
Jeff Fettig, Whirlpool Corp. chairman and CEO, said Whirlpool is “confident that this investment will accelerate Whirlpool’s profitable growth in the very important Chinese appliance market.
He noted that Whirlpool has been in China for more than 20 years.
Whirlpool said Hefei Sanyo’s management team has a proven record of driving growth and profitability. Hefei Sanyo also has an established distribution network with more than 30,000 outlets in China—its significant presence in rural markets will complement Whirlpool’s presence in China’s higher-tier cities. Whirlpool said it will also gain manufacturing scale and a competitive cost structure in the city of Hefei.
Whirlpool said its ability to consolidate operations offers strong synergies. Whirlpool plans to provide technical, marketing, and product development, which, along with Hefei Sanyo’s sales execution and operational strengths, will support a new phase of development.
Hefei Sanyo was established on 1994 and is headquartered in Hefei, Anhui Province, China. Hefei Sanyo reported 2013 revenue of $864 million and net earnings of $59 million.
The company has about 14,000 employees under Chairman Jin Youhua. Three manufacturing lines make washing machines, refrigerators, and microwave ovens. Its appliances are sold under brand names Sanyo, Rongshida /Royal Star, and Diqua. The company has been listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange since July 2004 (Ticker: 600983).
The company’s other major shareholder is Hefei State-owned Assets Holding Co., Ltd., which holds 23.34%.