Tuesday, 17th August 2010, Velenje, Slovenia

Gorenje acquiring Swedish top-level white goods producer

On 27 July 2010, Gorenje concluded a contract on the acquisition of a 100 percent ownership stake in Scandinavian based company Asko Appliances Group. The acquisition of the top-level Swedish provider of household appliances is a strategic match. Several important synergies are achieved for both companies with the possibility of a faster growth. Gorenje is thereby realising its strategy as a fast growing pan-European player.

Asko Appliances Group is a Sweden based company with manufacturing and sales of large household appliances for mainly the upper market segments. Its own production comprises dishwashers, washing machines and tumble dryers in Vara, Sweden and cookers, ovens and cold irons in Lahti, Finland. Brands are ASKO, positioned in the high-end segment, and UPO in the mid-end. The ASKO brand also comprises a niche range of professional products for the semi commercial market, which is a growing business area with high potentials.

Asko revenues in 2009 were 173 MEUR, for 2010 its budget is 176 MEUR with target EBITDA of 7,2 MEUR. Total equity of the company at the end of June 2010 was 26,5 MEUR.

For Gorenje, acquiring Asko Appliances Group, formerly owned by Antonio Merloni Group, Italy, is another important step in order to cover the untapped markets of Nordic countries, North America and Australia, which are its main markets. Gorenje gains another prestigious brand for the group, which will contribute with supplementary production within dishwashers and laundry.

The purchase price for the acquisition is 4,5 million euros. Financing is provided from the funds received in the equity increase by IFC in June 2010. The expected effect of acquisition on Gorenje Budget 2010 as well as on Gorenje Group strategic plan will be positive.

Gorenje CEO Mr Franjo Bobinac is pleased with this strategic match and to close the deal that brings Asko and Upo to the Gorenje family: “The acquisition of Asko is a historical milestone for Gorenje. It is a winning combination since it represents completion of Gorenje brand names portfolio with the high positioned brands and enables important strengthening of Gorenje position in Nordic countries, North America and Australia. It is particularly important that R&D and production of dishwashers in Asko completes our own production. Gorenje is thus realising its strategic plan and has assumed its active role in consolidation processes in the industry of household appliances. Between Gorenje and Asko, we see numerous synergies in sales and marketing, R&D, product management, procurement and production.”

With the new owner, Mr Staffan Billinger, CEO of Asko Appliances, recognises new future possibilities: »Being a member of the Gorenje Group is a concept with many advantages. New markets, distribution channels and a widened product range are of course positive aspects for Asko Appliances, just as for Gorenje. Very important for Asko is also a solid ownership with a long-term focus and a strategic vision. I regard Asko and Gorenje as a winning combination with many positive impacts on both our businesses and look forward to the future development of the Asko brand under the ownership of Gorenje.”

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