Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE: WHR) and Fineldo S.p.A. announce that they have entered into a binding agreement for the sale of Fineldo's stake in Indesit Company S.p.A. (BIT: IND). Whirlpool also entered into binding share purchase agreements with members of the Merloni family for their Indesit shares. Under these agreements, Whirlpool would acquire shares representing a total of 66.8 percent of the voting stock of Indesit. Whirlpool currently intends to finance this transaction through cash on hand, together with private, domestic and international public debt financing, depending on the timing of closing and market conditions. The acquisition of control ofIndesit is subject to judicial and antitrust approvals and is expected to close by the end of 2014.
"We expect this opportunity to position our European business for growth and ongoing value creation with a well-respected and established company such as Indesit," said Jeff M. Fettig, chairman and chief executive officer of Whirlpool Corporation. "We consider acquisitions based on strategic fit, shareholder value and a high degree of confidence in our ability to execute. We believe this will ideally position us for sustainable growth in the highly competitive and increasingly global home appliance market in Europe. Whirlpool has demonstrated its capability to create efficiencies and value through acquisitions, and therefore we have high confidence that through this transaction we will deliver strong returns to our shareholders and innovative products to our consumers."
"The agreement announced today provides Indesit with the tools to build a solid and sustainable future," said Gian Oddone Merli, chief executive officer at Fineldo S.p.A. "During the last several months of discussions, Whirlpool has proven to be the right partner, with a similar culture and unique ability to offer long-term growth, capitalising on the attention to quality that has always characterised Indesit. The benefits Indesit will derive from this investment are significant, including the ability to bring its know-how and products to a company with a global scale."
"We expect this transaction will enable us to create a more efficient appliance company in Europe, with increased value through improved asset utilisation and complementary country positions, products, brands and distribution," said Marc Bitzer, president of North America and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) for Whirlpool. "We foresee the acquisition strengthening and sustaining our European manufacturing, and enabling our products to be competitive and value-creating. European trade customers and consumers will benefit from the improved efficiency through our investments in innovation and technology leadership provided by the combined strength of Whirlpool and Indesit.