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Industry Gives The Samsung-Dacor Marriage Its Blessing

Expected to be supportive for both parties

Appliance industry players are giving a thumbs up to Samsung’s pending purchase of Dacor, the luxury kitchen-appliance makeer.

Looking to tap into the high-margin, ultra-premium majap segment, Samsung Electronics America (SEA) has signed a definitive purchase agreement with the family-run business, terms of which were not disclosed.

Under the plan, Dacor will become a wholly owned subsidiary of SEA, but will maintain its brand, corporate identity, operations and California manufacturing base.

The deal gives Samsung instant entrée into a category that it projects will see double-digit growth over the next three years. “We welcome the Dacor team to the Samsung family,” said Boo-Keun Yoon, CEO of consumer electronics at Samsung Electronics, “and look forward to leveraging their expertise in the luxury home appliance market while scaling their continued success in North America.”

In turn, said Dacor president/CEO Chuck Heubner, the Los Angeles-based business will leverage Samsung’s “global scale, financial strength and market leadership … to accelerate our growth as we better meet the needs of both our high-end consumers and our retail partners.”

The industry apparently agrees. Dave Bilas, CEO of the $15 billion Nationwide Marketing Group and a former GE Appliance sales exec, said Dacor stands to benefit from the cash infusion it’s sure to receive from Samsung, while maintaining its ultra-premium standing.

“This can be a good thing,” he told TWICE. “Raising capital is difficult for a company that small, and Samsung won’t commoditize it.”

Majap industry consultant Bob Baird, who ran Home Depot’s appliance business for the past 15 years, also lauded the move. “This will make Samsung meaningful in the ultra-premium segment,” Baird observed. “This, combined with their impending introduction of wall ovens, is good progress.”

Dacor, an acronym for Distinctive Appliance Corp., was founded 51 years ago by Stanley Joseph as an offshoot of Stanthony Corp., which introduced the first self-contained ventilation hood system for the residential market in 1948.

The Los Angeles-area business has since distinguished itself as a family-held domestic manufacturer of sleek, innovative kitchen appliances including ranges, cooktops, wall ovens, refrigerators, wine coolers and vent hoods.

Under former president and third-generation scion Steve Joseph, Dacor also became an early entrant into the smart-appliance category with its Discovery iQ ranges and wall ovens.

At the time of his appointment in 2011, Joseph’s father, CEO Michael Joseph, stated that “Being a family-owned and family-led corporation has always been central to Dacor.”

The younger Joseph has since left the company, to be succeeded by Heubner, and Michael continues as chairman.

“Samsung is a world-renowned organization and we could not be more delighted to share our family company with them,” the elder Joseph said in a statement. “We are thrilled to be a part of a truly great global company.”

Like Samsung, archrival LG Electronics is also looking to crack the ultra-premium market, albeit through an in-house effort under the stand-alone Signature Kitchen Suite brand.