Electrolux Weighing Acquisition Offer: Report

Midea Group’s Innovation Center in Foshan, China

China’s Midea Group may be in talks with Stockholm

By Alan Wolf, YSN

Sweden’s Electrolux is in private talks with Midea Group over a possible acquisition by the Chinese appliance giant, according to media reports.

Bloomberg News cited unnamed sources who said Midea approached the Swedish manufacturer several weeks ago about a potential buyout, but has so far been rebuffed over the offer price and expected U.S. regulatory qualms.

According to one Bloomberg source privy to the confidential discussions, Electrolux’s largest shareholder, the Wallenberg family-controlled AB Investors, is demanding assurances that the deal would go through even if U.S. regulators should block the sale. The Stockholm-based business derives roughly 35% of its revenue from North America, and U.S.-China relations are presently chilly amid military and security concerns.

Neither party would comment on the reports.

Midea, a $53 billion global powerhouse, already has a presence in the U.S. but has been looking to expand its foothold here since losing out to China’s Haier Group in a bid to buy GE Appliances. A year after the 2016 acquisition, Midea’s Chairman/CEO Paul Fang told Bloomberg that “We would be interested to take a look” at Electrolux as well as Whirlpool, “if suitable opportunities arise.”

Ironically, Electrolux was first to forge a deal to buy GE, but its plans were dashed by U.S. regulators who feared the commercial cooking clout of the combined companies.

Midea and Electrolux have previously partnered on several deals, including the 2018 launch of the latter’s premium AEG brand in China, according to ChannelNews.

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