October 31, 2014

Haier Buying Sanyo Appliance Division

Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd. plans to sell much of its major appliance business to China’s Haier Group, in an uncommon instance of a Japanese electronics conglomerate allowing a rising Chinese rival take over a chunk of a major business segment.

The sale of the Sanyo operations—mostly washing-machine and refrigerator businesses—is part of Panasonic’s efforts to eliminate overlapping areas since its 2009 purchase of Sanyo. For Haier, the acquisition of Sanyo’s businesses will help it move a step closer to becoming a globally recognized quality appliance brand like Whirlpool or Electrolux.

Haier Group will have the rights to use the Sanyo brand name on washing machines, refrigerators, air-conditioners, TVs, and other consumer appliances in Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Malaysia under the SANYO brand for a limited, but unspecified, period of time.

The acquisition of the Sanyo businesses is “an important part of Haier’s overall growth strategy,” said Haier Vice President Du Jingguo in a statement released Thursday.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Haier has said previously it was looking at overseas acquisitions to grow. President Yang Mianmian told Dow Jones Newswires in March it would look at opportunities that arise.

The Chinese firm previously held talks with General Electric Co. in 2008 to buy the U.S. firm’s appliance unit. Before the talks with GE, Haier made an unsuccessful bid for Maytag Corp. in 2004 but lost out to Whirlpool Corp.

Haier holds more than 6% of the world’s white-goods market.

Haier and Fisher Paykel Making Bigger Plans

Haier, China’s largest major appliance maker, and Fisher & Paykel (F&P), the premium appliance manufacturer, are exploring opportunities to cross market their products in the United States.

The move would extend a strategic partnership formed last May when Haier purchased a 20 percent stake in the New Zealand vendor and added its chief financial officer and chief marketing officer to F&P’s board.

Under the agreement, the two companies are sharing product development, manufacturing and market resources to reduce production and procurement costs.

As part of the arrangement, Haier is presently producing select products under the Fisher & Paykel brand, and the partners are looking to expand the assortment.

The pact also gives Haier exclusive rights to market and distribute Fisher & Paykel products in China, while F&P will distribute Haier-manufactured and branded products in New Zealand.

Haier Australia will continue to handle the Haier brand on that continent for the immediate future.

According to a Fisher & Paykel spokesperson, the companies are also exploring opportunities to market and sell each other’s products in the U.S.

The partnership gives Haier access to Fisher & Paykel’s premium assortment, while extending F&P’s global reach. The deal will also help the New Zealand manufacturer contain production costs amid the global recession, which has taken a steep toll on appliance sales across the industry.

Fisher & Paykel is best known for its compact DishDrawer dishwasher and its recently acquired DCS line of professional cooking equipment. Its products are sold directly or via distributors to about 4,500 dealers in the United States, and are produced globally at plants in Auckland and Dunedin, New Zealand; Cleveland, Australia; Rayong Province, Thailand; Reynosa, Mexico; Treviso, Italy; and Clyde, Ohio.

From TWICE Magazine

Haier Acquires 20% of Fisher Paykel

Haier Group announced it is participating in Fisher & Paykel Appliances’ (FPA) recapitalization plan. The plan includes the issue of new shares, share placement from existing shareholders and a top-up placement. At the plan’s completion, Haier will hold a 20% stake in FPA and becomes a new cornerstone shareholder of the home appliances manufacturer from New Zealand.

Haier and FPA also signed a Cooperation Agreement for the benefit of both companies that includes the sharing of market, design and technology resources, corporate and product planning, coordination of both companies’s manufacturing resources, optimization of sourcing and cooperation of after sales services globally.

Under the Agreement, Haier will have exclusive marketing and distribution rights of Fisher & Paykel Appliances-branded products in China, and Fisher & Paykel Appliances will have exclusive marketing and distribution rights of Haier-branded products in Australia and New Zealand.

Haier’s Compact Dryer

Last month we wrote here at appliance.net about Haier’s portable, compact washing machine.  For those of you who trek regularly to a laundromat, and have a small space to store one, check out that story.  If you’ve already made up your mind that a compact washer is just what you need, Haier has the dryer to go with it.

This compact electric dryer has a 2.6 cubic foot interior and can be mounted to any wall.  Just be sure you have an electrical outlet nearby.  It has three temperature settings, delicate, heavy and normal along with an air-dry option.

The portable washer and dryer are not stackable, but the washer can be placed beneath the wall mounted dryer to create a similar spacesaving configuration.

This dryer retails for about $270.

Haier’s Compact Little Fridge

Haier is getting smaller and cooler with a new eco-friendly 1.7-cubic-foot compact refrigerator that features an advanced electronics and cellular technology cooling system called NuCool.

According to Haier, the new system achieves temperatures as low as 37 degrees, based on an ambient room temperature of 70 degrees, which was not attainable with prior refrigerant-free models. “Haier strives to be a pioneer in the implementation of new technologies in our product lines,” said Matthew Sekelick, the company’s compact appliances VP. “As a leader in compact refrigeration, we have looked to introduce environmentally friendly improvements such as NuCool that our customers desire.”

The NuCool compact refrigerator, model C-RNU1708, which shipped late last year, features an auto defrost and adjustable thermostat, a reversible door design, and full- and half-width door shelves with 2-liter bottle storage. It is available in black and white and retails for $80 at Wal-Mart.

The compact fridge is the first application of NuCool technology, Haier said. Larger-capacity models featuring the technology are expected to be introduced early this year.

Source: twice.com

Haier Still Considering GE

News had it that Haier planned to make an offer for the appliance division of GE, but Haier said it plans not to bid for General Electric Co’s appliances unit until it sees clear signs of a U.S. market recovery, according to a Reuters report.

A bid for GE’s appliances business, which the U.S. giant put on the block in May, could be Haier’s last opportunity to buy a household U.S. brand, part of its ambitions to reach global consumers rather than just Chinese, the report said.

According to the Reuters report, a source who worked with Haier executives to evaluate the potential GE deal said the other concern for Haier is how to pay for it, as Haier would rather not borrow from commercial banks.

In May, GE’s CEO Jeff Immelt named companies including Haier, South Korea’s LG Electronics, and Turkey’s Arcelik ARCLK.IS as possible bidders for the second-largest U.S. appliance maker after Whirlpool Corp. No formal bids have been announced yet, and the plans of the other possible bidders have not been confirmed. With sales of $7.2 billion last year, the unit is worth an estimated US$4 billion to $8 billion.