October 24, 2014

Fisher & Paykel Struggling – Whirlpool Not Buying, But Sears is Selling

Appliance manufacturer Fisher & Paykel’s debt is predicted to rise to next month as a result of the depreciating New Zealand dollar and a drop in sales. Its profits were expected to drop up to fifty-four percent.

The New Zealand company told investors in February that it was in talks with a number of parties in a bid to raise capital to help with debt levels, Whirlpool was thought to be one of the contenders.

David Graham, Whirlpool general manager of marketing for Australia and New Zealand, told the New Zealand Herald his company would not be the white knight. “At this juncture we are not seeking to acquire Fisher & Paykel New Zealand,” he said.

Commentators said there was only a small chance Fisher & Paykel would find a cornerstone investor to help take on more than $500m in debt when many companies were struggling themselves.

A Government bailout was unlikely and a capital raising from shareholders was the only real option for Fisher & Paykel, they said.

At the same time, Fisher & Paykel Appliances will launch a new brand of home appliances at Sears outlet stores beginning in April. The new Elba by Fisher & Paykel brand will be manufactured in Fisher & Paykel’s North American facilities.

Commenting on the new brand launch in the U.S., Mike Goadby, North American president for Fisher & Paykel Appliances, said, “The company is adapting a strategy it employed in the New Zealand market for the past 12 months with promising results. Fisher & Paykel’s decision to extend its brand is necessary to continue to promote company growth.”