Italian appliance maker Indesit Company announced that it has made its first acquisition of the year. The company, formerly known as Merloni Elettrodomestici, has entered into an agreement with WLS (Wuxi Little Swan Company), leading Chinese appliance maker, to set up a joint venture in which Indesit Company will hold a 70-percent stake.
Indesit said the operation will involve an initial investment of U.S. $10 million to start up dishwasher production at the existing Wuxi plant -- mainly for export in the opening phase of the project -- by the end of the second half of 2005.
After successfully creating industrial districts in Lipetzk in Russia and Lodz in Poland, Indesit said it is expecting to generate the same sort of industrial development in China, now considered one of the world's most competitive countries and one of the biggest markets for household appliances.
Drawing in part on the experience of associated company Merloni Progetti, which has built 25 industrial plants in China over the last 20 years, including the Wuxi plant itself, Indesit believes it has won a solid reputation in China and claims that its brand Ariston is a synonym for refrigerator in the region.