Hisense Luxembourg Holding, part of China’s Hisense Group, has purchased Panasonic’s 10.74 per cent share in Slovenian white goods manufacturer Gorenje, part of a plan to take full control of the company. Hisense now owns around 39 per cent of Gorenje shares.
Hisense expressed its intention to buy a controlling stake in the firm in May, offering to pay 12 euros per share for 50 per cent plus one share, valuing the company at around 293 million euros.
Gorenje has since declared Hisense to be its preferred bidder in its search for a strategic partner, owing to Hisense’s success in western Europe, which can complement the Slovenian company’s strength in central and eastern Europe.
At the last general meeting prior to Hisense’s takeover, Gorenje removed three of its supervisory positions to be filled by Hisense personnel, stressing that the remaining supervisors would leave if Hisense required so. Gorenje’s CEO Franjo Bobinac declared the general meeting to be historic, arguing Hisense’s takeover promises “a good platform for the European market.” He also said: “Gorenje is proud that Hisense, one of the largest companies in the field of consumer electronics, air conditioners and refrigerators, has recognised in us a platform that can develop its brands in Europe.”
While Gorenje recorded its highest revenue in five years in 2017, 1.307 billion euros, net profit fell 84 per cent due to cost pressures and strong competition.
Hisense is expected to complete its takeover of Gorenje by September or October of this year.
Panasonic itself performed due diligence in Gorenje in 2016 but decided against taking over the firm, saying increasing its stake in Gorenje would not be in line with its investment strategy.