New Zealand-based appliance maker Fisher & Paykel Appliances Holdings Limited (F&P) completed the transfer of its manufacturing of laundry appliances and laundry motors from Australia and New Zealand to Clyde, Ohio. The transfer grew to encompass dryers as well as washers. While its manufacturing workforce was small – just 35 as of March, 2006 – the company suggested the head-count could quadruple by the end of the year.
The company followed up the manufacturing move with a reorganization of its global management, announced in May. A month later, in June 2006, F&P announced the purchase of Elba S.p.A., a European cooking appliance maker, from De'Longhi S.p.A. for 78 million euros (approx. U.S. $97.6 million). Elba, based near Treviso, Italy, manufactures and distributes cooking appliances including freestanding cookers, built-in ovens and cooktops. It exports to more than 54 countries with a particular strength in the United Kingdom. F&P CEO John Bongard said that, now its North American operations are coming into focus, Elba will give it a base from which to expand in Europe as well.
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