Electrolux boss denies plan to quit Sweden

Swedish appliance giant Electrolux has denied a report that its American chief executive Keith McLoughlin is resigning to reunite with his family in the US.

Electrolux boss denies plan to quit Sweden
Electrolux CEO Keith McLoughlin. Photo: Electrolux

An article in Sweden's business daily newspaper Dagens Industri said “it's now certain Keith McLoughlin will leave, the only question is knowing who will replace him”.

It added that the 58-year-old manager, who has been CEO of the Swedish industry leader since 2011, had been living apart from his family since its return to the US in 2012.

But in a statement denying “recent speculations in Swedish media”, the company said on Thursday that it could “confirm that Keith McLoughlin has not resigned as Electrolux CEO”.

It also indicated that McLoughlin's current dual role heading the global group and its North American unit was a temporary situation awaiting a permanent appointment to the recently-vacated North American post.

“All well-run public companies conduct succession planning. We are searching for a new head of our Major Appliances sector in North America,” Electrolux said.

McLoughlin has led Electrolux since 2011, and oversaw its decision last year to acquire US company GE Appliances for $3.3 billion (2.9 billion euros).

According to Dagens Industri, McLoughlin will remain in his post until the transaction is finalised later this year, following approval by US regulators expected this summer.

The paper said GE Appliances head Charles Blankenship is considered the favourite to succeed McLoughlin in the even of his departure.

Failing that, Dagens Industri said Electrolux would likely choose a Swedish candidate for the top post.

The news comes as Sveriges Radio reported that the company is set to announce plans to dismantle their factory in Mariestad in central Sweden and moving production to Hungary, affecting 250 employees.

In mid-morning trades on the Stockholm market on Thursday, Electrolux stocks were trading 1.45 percent lower than Wednesday's close, while the rest of the market was down 0.31 percent.

The company's annual earnings soared to 2.24 billion kronor ($273 million) at the end of last year, following the implementation of a cost-cutting programme which saw about 2,000 workers laid off.


Sweden’s Electrolux sees big US deal stopped

UPDATED: Shares in Swedish white goods giant Electrolux plummeted on Monday morning after US firm General Electric, which was poised to sell its appliance division to the Nordic firm, cancelled the agreement.

Sweden's Electrolux sees big US deal stopped
Electrolux's office in Kungsholmen, Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Persson/TT
Electrolux, which sells brands including Frigidaire, AEG and Zanussi as well as its own name, is already the world's second-largest home appliance maker after Whirlpool.
It announced a year ago that it wanted to buy part of General Electric (GE).
But the US firm said on Monday that it has decided to cancel the agreement to sell its appliance division to the Swedish group which had offered last year to buy it for $3.3 billion.
The US Department of Justice had threatened to sue Electrolux and GE over concerns the deal would create a duopoly and hand Electrolux a US market share of some 40 percent.
Electrolux said it had made extensive efforts to obtain regulatory approval, and said it “regrets” that GE had terminated the agreement while the court procedure was still pending.
“Although we are disappointed that the acquisition will not be completed, Electrolux is confident that the Group has strong capabilities to continue to grow and develop its position as a global appliances manufacturer”, said Keith McLoughlin, President and CEO of Electrolux in a statement.
Shares in Electrolux — one of Sweden's most famous brands — initially dropped by 14 percent after the decision was announced, and remained 12 percent lower by mid-morning.
The failed deal has already cost the company millions of kronor in preparatory work and General Electric has requested a termination fee of $175 million.
GE revealed in a statement that it was still interested in selling the appliance division.
Monday's announcement took some analysts by surprise.
“I was surprised this deal was contested by the Justice Department, but then when we saw what their concern, which was the creation of duopoly in a part of the appliance market, it began not to look so good,” said Karri Rinta, an analyst with Handelsbanken Capital Markets.
“It's back to square one for Electrolux in North America. This is a deal that would have made them much stronger in the US especially against Samsung and LG,” he said.