The Slovenia Times

Gorenje-Panasonic manufacturing partnership ending


Gorenje confirmed for Delo the agreement under which it produced Panasonic-branded washing machines and refrigerators would be terminated.

The company says the partnership accounts for 1.5% of Gorenje's EUR 1.2bn in revenue, but insiders suspect revenue could drop by a tenth as a result, the paper says.

Gorenje said the shortfall would not be negligible but would be offset with sales to other clients on all existing and new markets.

Delo says the revelation is a surprise given that a year ago the companies said their business cooperation would continue despite Panasonic deciding not to raise its 10% stake in Gorenje.

It also raises the prospect of Panasonic offloading its stake, in which case the state-owned KAD fund could potentially emerge as a buyer.

KAD, which holds a 16.8% stake in Gorenje, told STA today that there were "no activities currently under way regarding an increase of the stake" in Gorenje.

But the company added that, based on information in the media, Gorenje faced major ownership changes, which has already been brought to the attention of the government and the Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH).

Media reports in mid-2017 indicate another major Gorenje stake, a 11.8% stake held by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), could be put up for sale as well.

The IFC, a part of the World Bank, purchased the stake in 2010 and typically holds on to such investments for only a few years.

Gorenje shares added 0.85% yesterday to EUR 5.90 but lost 1.7% in early trading today to EUR 5.80.

The share had been worth almost ten euros apiece on the back of rumours that Panasonic might mount a takeover bid but plummeted in November 2016 after Panasonic revealed it would not increase its stake.

Gorenje more than doubled its net profit to EUR 4.4m in the first half of the year, while sales rose by 7.3% year-on-year to EUR 623.9m.


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