Whirlpool Buying Hefei Sanyo Stake For $552M

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- Whirlpool is buying a majority stake in Chinese appliance maker Hefei Rongshida Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd. for about $552 million.

Whirlpool Corp., whose brands include Maytag and its namesake, said Tuesday that the transaction will help it expand in China.

Hefei Sanyo had 2012 revenue of $636 million. Its brands include Sanyo and Diqua. The company is a joint venture between former Hefei Rongshida Group Co. Ltd. and Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd. and Sanyo Electric (China) Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of Panasonic Corp.

The deal, which gives Whirlpool a 51 percent stake in Hefei Sanyo, is expected to close by the end of 2014. It still needs Chinese regulatory approval and approval from Hefei Sanyo shareholders.

Whirlpool, based in Benton Harbor, Mich., had sales of about $18 billion in 2012.

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