Appliance Briefs


Maytag Closes Amana Deal

NEWTON, IOWA — Maytag completed its acquisition of Amana Appliances from Goodman Global Holdings last week for $325 million. The buyout, announced in June (see TWICE, June 11, p. 1), will add some $900 million to Maytag's annual sales, but is expected to reduce 2001 earnings by 6 cents to 9 cents per share, with most of the impact to be felt in the fourth quarter. The deal is expected to be accretive to earnings by a double-digit percentage in 2003. Maytag chairman/CEO Ralph Hake acknowledged that "an acquisition of this type — at this time in the industry cycle — will require a clear vision for the business, strong execution and the wherewithal to make decisions quickly and to implement change swiftly." But the payoff, he said, is the majap makers will be stronger strategically, operationally and financially, as well as in brand, product and distribution reach. Hake added that a transition team, supplemented by "outside resources," is already in place to direct the integration.

Color Me Amana

AMANA, IOWA — Included in Amana's new platform of DOE-compliant refrigerators is the Distinctions line of side-by-sides that's distinctive for its chameleon-like qualities. The collection includes nine readily interchangeable color inserts for the door handle and water dispenser tray that provide consumers with a custom option at a value price. The choice of tones — bisque, black, blue, brick red, coral, kiwi, spruce, gray and white — was based on an analysis of recent kitchen color trends, the company said. Other Distinctions features include a fast-filling three-button electronic dispenser, easy-access water filter, tilt-out freezer buckets, dual temperature control sensors and "Spillsaver" glass shelves. The three models are priced to retail between $949 and $1099 and are available in bisque, black and white.

Whirlpool Wins Design Nod

BENTON HARBOR, MICH. — Whirlpool has been recognized by the Industrial Designers Society of America for concept microwave ovens created last year by a team of independent and in-house product designers. The so-called "Macrowaves" captured the designers' aim of thinking beyond the conventional microwave and envisioning a broader concept of the kitchen appliance, and earned the manufacturer its first Industrial Design Excellence Award (IDEA). According to Charles Jones, VP of global consumer design, the project was inspired by consumer research showing that Generation Y teens are dissatisfied with current appliance design. The resultant Macrowaves, aspects of which may appear in future Whirlpool products, blur the distinction between internal and external design while wedding state-of-the-art looks with ease of use and efficiency, he said.


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