Gorenje seeks buyer amid continued share slump


Slovenian appliance manufacturer Gorenje has revealed it is seeking a buyer for the business.

The company said it was looking for a “suitable partner and potential shareholder” for the business after seeing 12% profit growth in the first nine months of 2017 and has appointed Rothschild S.p.A., Italy, as its financial advisor in its search for a strategic partner.

It hopes to have a buyer in place by the third quarter of 2018 and it is understood that a Ljubljana-based law firm Jadek & Pensa has been appointed to deliver legal support in the process.

The announcement comes amid news that net profits rose to €4.6 million (£4m), while sales increased by 5% sales to €944m yet on news that the appliance manufacturer sought a buyer, the Ljubljana Stock Exchange listed Gorenje saw its shares slide further as they have since March 2017.

Gorenje said it hoped the “new partnership” would assist with the improvement of cost efficiency and help to strengthen the company.

Iztok Krulc managing director at Gorenje UK, said: “While the cost of raw materials has continued to rise, we’ve had a successful year and are keen to build on that with this collaboration.

“The business is built on strong foundations and a rich heritage, and is something we want to continue in order to take Gorenje to the next level.”

The company attributed some of the growth to more customers replacing their kitchen appliances to make way for newer, energy-efficient models.

He added: “People are wanting to save money on running costs or boost their green credentials, and are becoming increasingly aware of how impactful highly-rated appliances can be.

“We have always prioritised energy efficiency and it’ll certainly continue to be at the top of the agenda for production during 2018.”

Gorenje is among the smaller brands in Europe with a European market share of about 4% and its recent share price slide is evident of its continuing struggle to make headway against the might of global players including Sweden’s Electrolux and U.S. rival Whirpool. Given that Gorenje has failed to capitalise on Whirpool’s nose dive in online brand reputation amidst an ever-growing appliance scandal.

Gorenje is Slovenia’s second-largest exporter but it is troubling that the company continues to slide and it didn’t help matters when they announced a year ago that Japan’s Panasonic had decided against a bid for Gorenje, saying at the time that the possible takeover would not fit with its [Panasonic]investment strategy.

Panasonic still owns 10.7% of Gorenje, with the Slovenian government’s investment company Kapitalska Druzba the largest shareholder with 16.4%.