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Thu, Aug 17, 2006 - Page 10 News List

SEB SA plans to acquire controlling stake in rival firm

AFP , PARIS

French home appliance manufacturer SEB SA, which owns international brands Tefal, Moulinex and Rowenta, said yesterday that it would pay about 240 million euros (US$307 million) to buy control of Chinese rival Zhejiang Supor Cookware Co (浙江蘇泊爾炊具).

SEB said it planned to acquire a 51 percent to 59 percent stake in the Chinese group, a Shenzen-listed business which specializes in manufacturing pressure cookers, woks and other kitchenware.

The French group intends to buy shares from the founding family, subscribe to a rights issue by the Chinese company and make a partial public offer for other shares.

The move marks an attempt by a European producer of electrical equipment to buy control of a low-cost Chinese competitor. SEB has been restructuring and announced plans to close three factories in France earlier in the year.

Analysts at French investment bank CA Cheuvreux said it was "good news for SEB as it will allow it to enter the Chinese market."

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