Chinese Midea Group is exploring a potential acquisition of Electrolux, says people close to the company.
Midea made a preliminary approach in recent weeks to the Swedish high-end brand about a possible transaction, said the sources. Electrolux has so far not been receptive to the proposal.
Midea has been interested in Electrolux for some time and would only want a friendly deal, the sources added. Other Asian appliance makers including Samsung Electronics have also looked at the Swedish business.
Stockholm-based Electrolux’s B shares jumped almost 16 per cent on Friday, April 28. This gives the company a market capitalization of US$4.3 billion. Midea shares are up about 10 per cent this year, valuing it around US$58 billion.
Buying Electrolux would add to previous overseas acquisitions by Midea. The Chinese company, which is based in Foshan in Guangdong province, bought a controlling stake in Toshiba’s home appliance unit in 2016. It acquired German robot maker Kuka a year later, which triggered concerns in the German government.