Midea Group has confirmed a media report that said the Chinese home appliance behemoth has made an initial takeover approach for Swedish competitor Electrolux.
“A deal is being discussed, but no decision has been made yet,” the investor relations department at the Foshan-based company said. A public relations officer at Electrolux China declined to comment.
Midea is exploring the potential acquisition of Electrolux, Bloomberg News reported on April 30, citing people familiar with the matter. The Chinese firm has made a preliminary approach in recent weeks about a possible deal, but Electrolux has not been receptive to the proposal so far, the sources added.
The acquisition would help Midea make up for its weaknesses in the mid-to-high-end markets overseas, an industry insider told Yicai Global.
Regardless of the outcome of Midea’s approach, global home appliance giants are moving production to European and American countries such as Mexico and Türkiye, so Chinese home appliance makers will have to improve their global industrial chain positioning, said Zhou Nan, secretary-general of the home appliances branch of the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products.
Midea and Electrolux joined hands in 2016 to bring German kitchen appliance giant AEG to China and acquire the white goods business of Japan’s Toshiba. In 2017, Midea bought its first stake in Kuka and then acquired the remaining 5 percent it did not yet own in the German industrial robot maker last November.
Electrolux owns the Electrolux, AEG, Zanussi, Frigidaire, Eureka, Flymo, and Husqvarna brands. It ranks fourth with around a 10 percent share of the western European market, according to a research report.
The Swedish firm reported a 3.6 drop in operating revenue to USD13.4 billion last year from 2021, with 34.5 percent of the total coming from Europe and 34.9 percent from North America. It turned a SEK4.7 billion (USD462.2 million) net profit into a SEK1.3 billion net loss in the period.
Midea posted CNY343.9 billion (USD49.7 billion) in operating revenue for 2022, up 0.8 percent from the year before, and CNY29.6 billion (USD4.3 billion) in net profit, a 3.4 percent increase.