Japanese Panasonic buys 13 percent stake in appliances maker Gorenje


To improve competitiveness in Europe, Panasonic has formed a long-term strategic alliance with Gorenje, in which it will invest €10.2 million (£8.8m) in a minority share of the Slovenian white-goods manufacturer.

The deal will include the sharing of R&D and selected manufacturing platforms for washing machines, refrigerators and built-in ovens, as well as sales networks and marketing know-how.

Panasonic has already revealed that it is aiming to be number one in appliances in Europe as the consumer electronics market continues to be challenging, and it sees its alliance with Gorenje as leveraging its presence in Europe and Russia.

The companies revealed that they would: jointly develop a new generation of washing machines to be distributed in the EU market, Panasonic brand refrigerators by Gorenje to be distributed in the EU, Russian and other CIS markets [Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Ukraine ]; distribute selected Panasonic brand built-in kitchen appliances in Europe; and produce built-in ovens made by Gorenje.

Gorenje president and chief executive Franjo Bobinac stated: “Forging a strategic alliance with a corporation of such reputation as Panasonic is a historical milestone for Gorenje and an important step in the pursuit of our strategic policies. Panasonic is a global leader with a tradition spanning nearly 100 years and a strong commitment to investment into green innovation; Gorenje, still committed to its standalone long-term vision, has an in-depth knowledge of the European market and its consumers, and fosters a focus on design, innovation, and quality. “

“Synergies in design, manufacturing, and sales will yield benefits for both enterprises and will trickle down to end users as well as other stakeholders. This partnership will result in a number of opportunities for both corporations and will surely open up new ones as it develops in the years to come. We look forward to cooperation with Panasonic.”

Commenting on the deal, chairman and chief executive of Panasonic Europe Laurent Abadie said: “Gorenje’s commitment to developing innovative, design-led and high-quality products makes it the ideal partner for Panasonic. We are looking forward to working together to build a solid and long-term platform for growth that will propel both organisations to new strengths within the European home appliance market. By combining our complementary product and manufacturing technologies, sales channels and marketing expertise, we look forward to bringing advanced, smart and ecologically responsible appliances to consumers across Europe, including Russia, in the coming years.”

July 5 | Fri Jul 5, 2013 5:27am EDT  (Reuters) 

Japanese electronics producer Panasonic will buy a roughly 13 percent stake in Slovenian household appliances maker Gorenje for 10 million euros ($12.91 million), Gorenje said in a statement on Friday.  It said the exact size of Panasonic’s stake in the company will depend upon a rise in share capital to be carried out by current Gorenje shareholders in the coming months but gave no details.  Gorenje is the small euro zone member’s second largest exporter and has market capitalisation of 66 million euros.  Shares in the company rose by 4.48 percent to 4.3 euros by 0915 on Friday, boosted by the news