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CORRECTION: $Gorenje Takes Over Swedish Rival Asko$

Velenje, 28 July (STA) - Please note that Gorenje signed a contract on the acquisition of Asko Appliances Group on Tuesday (not Wednesday). The corrected copy below also includes the updated price of the Gorenje share after the market's closure.

Gorenje Takes Over Swedish Rival Asko

Household appliances maker Gorenje announced on Wednesday it had taken over Swedish rival Asko Appliances Group in a bid to seek synergy and to foster growth. The contract was signed on Tuesday.

The Velenje-based company did not say how much it paid for the 100% stake in the Swedish household appliances provider, but said it would provide more detail on 17 August.

"The acquisition will not affect Gorenje shop floor workers in Slovenia because Asko's production compliments the washing and dish-washing range of products not manufactured in Velenje," Gorenje stated in a press release.

Asko, formerly owned by Italy's Antonio Merloni Group, sells its products on the markets of Nordic countries, North America and Australia.

Apart from gaining access to these new markets, Gorenje said the high-end Asko brand would supplement its range of products.

Asko manufactures and sells household appliances. Its production facility in Vara in Sweden manufactures washing machines, dishwashers and tumble dryers, while the unit in Finland's Lahti produces cookers, ovens and ironing systems.

Asko is a high-end brand, while Upo is positioned in the mid-end market. The Asko brand also comprises a niche range of professional products for the semi commercial market, which has a big growth potential, Gorenje said.

The purchase of Asko is the third major foreign acquisition for Gorenje, which bought Czech rival Mora Moravia in 2004 and Dutch appliance maker Atag in late 2008.

Gorenje has recently signed a deal with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) on a capital expansion.

The Gorenje share added 0.76% to EUR 11.99 on the Ljubljana Stock Exchange today.

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