China's Midea Buys Majority of Toshiba's Home Appliance Business

  • Companies have signed memorandum of understanding on deal
  • Midea seeks acquisition targets as part of global expansion

Midea Group Co., China’s biggest maker of home appliances, said it is buying a majority stake in Toshiba Corp. without disclosing financial details.

The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding, the Japanese company said in a statement Thursday. Nikkei newspaper reported Tuesday that the deal is possibly worth tens of billions of yen.

Midea, based in the southern Chinese city of Foshan, is seeking acquisition targets as part of its global expansion plan, Vice President Yuan Liqun said March 13. It’s seeking deals that can help it improve its technology, brand and global distribution channels so it can become more competitive, and the manufacturer has about 70 billion yuan ($10.8 billion) in cash and notes receivable, she said.

Toshiba’s home appliance business will continue to develop, manufacture and market white goods, such as refrigerators, washing machines, vacuum cleaners and other small domestic appliances under the Toshiba brand name, according to Thursday’s statement.

Midea joins competitors including China’s Haier Group Corp. in seeking technology through overseas acquisitions. Midea had a 17.1 percent market share in 2015, followed by Qingdao Haier with 7.9 percent, Euromonitor International data show.

Midea shares rose 2 percent at the close in Shenzhen trading Thursday, easing the decline so far this year to 9 percent.

— With assistance by Tian Chen, Ran Li, and Daniela Wei

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