Sunday 24 January 2021

Three Chinese firms lead race for Philips’ domestic appliances arm

Philips HQ in Amsterdam. Photo: Philips via Wikimedia Commons

Three Chinese companies are among the potential buyers for Philips’ domestic appliances division, all of which have offered over €3bn for the unit, the Financieele Dagblad said on Wednesday.

The Dutch electronics giant said a year ago it is to spin off its domestic appliance division to focus purely on health technology and personal care items. The unit’s products include Senseo coffee makers, irons, vacuum cleaners and air-fryers.

Sources have told the FD that Chinese firms Hillhouse Capital, CDH Investments and Citic Capital have got their eyes on the unit, but that it is unclear if other companies are also in the final stages of the bidding process.

The paper says CVC, Apollo, Advent, PAI and Bain had also been interested in the operation but did not make the final cut. However, one source suggested that Philips had given ‘some’ of them a second chance to bring out an improved offer.

The unit has a global workforce of 6,000 and its research and development centre is in Drachten. Much of the production takes place in Asia and turnover this year is projected at €2.3bn.

Philips sold its lighting, television and chip divisions earlier and once the domestic appliance arm has been sold, will focus purely on medical and personal care.

The FD said Philips has declined to comment on the sale process.

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