Electrolux to buy sous vide-cooker maker in US expansion

STOCKHOLM: Electrolux AB agreed to acquire sous vide-cooker maker Anova for as much as US$250mil as the Swedish maker of Frigidaire refrigerators and AEG ovens seeks to expand in the area of smart appliances.

Electrolux will pay US$115mil up front and as much as US$135 mil at a later date depending on financial performance, the Stockholm-based company said in a statement.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and expected to close during the first quarter of this year.

Since an agreement to buy General Electric Co.’s appliances unit failed in late 2015, Electrolux has focused its acquisition strategy on expanding its product range and growing in emerging markets.

The purchase of Anova follows acquisitions of Vintec, a company that supplies wine cabinets to Australia and Asia, and South African water-heater producer Kwikot Group.

The latest deal is part of the Swedish company’s efforts to offer more kitchen appliances that can be connected with mobile devices and remotely controlled or monitored.

“This acquisition offers a valuable stepping stone in our journey to deliver best in class consumer experiences through smart, connected appliances,” chief executive officer Jonas Samuelson said in the statement.

Electrolux shares traded 2% lower at 227.10 kronor as of 9:55 am in Stockholm, valuing the company at 70 billion kronor (US$8bil).

Anova, based in San Francisco, had revenue of US$40mil last year, and the three major acquisitions announced in the last 12 months will add about US$139mil in annual revenue. Electrolux plans to open an office in San Francisco alongside the deal to capture more innovations in the smart home area.

The purchase sees Electrolux gain products including a mobile-phone operated immersion heater that clips onto a saucepan of water and cooks food at low temperatures. Chefs in France developed sous vide cookers in the mid-1970s, though their bulkiness and expense has limited their appeal to consumers.

Anova is largely an online seller, and although the cooking technique is “well established” in gourmet restaurants, it’s catching on among consumers, the Swedish company said.—Bloomberg

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