The world’s largest maker of home appliances Whirlpool (WHR.NYSE) said on Tuesday that it will buy a 51% stake in a Chinese appliance industry leader for US$552 million, Reuters reported. The targeted company, Hefei Rongshida Sanyo Electric (600983.SHA), makes washers, microwaves and refrigerators and employs 10,000 workers in China. Whirlpool’s purchase of Hefei Sanyo will help the US company boost its business in Asia, which contributed just 5% of its total sales of US$4.7 billion in the second quarter. The deal represents the first big purchase of a Chinese company by a blue-chip US buyer since construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar (CAT.NYSE) bought ERA Mining in 2012.
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