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Posted: Friday, 11 July 2014 12:50PM

Whirlpool Buying Italian Appliance Maker Indesit For $1 Billion

Whirlpool is getting bigger. Already the world's largest home appliance manufacturer, the Benton Harbor-based company is purchasing controlling interest in Indesit, which is its Italian counterpart. Whirlpool announced the deal for just over $1 billion Friday morning. In a statement, CEO Jeff Fettig said they expect the move will help grow Whirlpool's market share in Europe. The transaction is expected to clear by the end of the year. Whirlpool is purchasing 66.8% of the voting shares in Indesit though a deal with members of the Merloni family and Fineldo, which had owned nearly 43% of the company. Fineldo CEO Gian Oddone Merli says the buyout will give Indesit "the tools to build a solid and sustainable future."

At midday Friday, Whirlpool stock was up 74-cents a share at $139.95. Moody's Investors Service placed Whirlpool's Prime-2 short-term and Baa2 senior unsecured ratings under review for downgrade following the purchase announcement. That firm says the downgrade is coming from what it believes will be deterioration in operating margins for Whirlpool and an increase in leverage from the purchase.


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