Dutch electronics giant Philips is going to divest its household appliances division. As such, the manufacturer is will soon say goodbye to its vacuum cleaners, coffee makers and irons.
In Chinese hands?
The electronics group is being completely dismantled: in line with its decision to focus on medical technology, the company is now also divesting its domestic appliances division. "All options for future ownership" of the branch are being explored, Philips announces.
Initially, the Dutch group will look for a buyer for the entire division, which is reportedly worth 2.3? to 5?billion euros. Among the interested parties would be mostly current competitors, such as Chinese Haier. Analysts do not expect a lot of interest from private investors, local newspaper NRC writes, because not many efficiency gains remain to be made. If finding a buyer does not work out, the department may still go to the stock exchange.
Years in the making
Since the 1990s, the Philips empire has been shedding layer after layer to create a more focused core. The departments of major appliances, televisions, consumer electronics and lighting were all sold. Selling the household appliances department has been on the cards for years, the company now admits, but "letting go was not a priority". "We had just completed the unbundling of lighting", CEO Van Houten said.
The only consumer products that Philips continues to manufacture are personal care products such as electric toothbrushes and shavers. These continue to fit into the new story, says the CEO.