Legal Business Blogs

Deal Watch: Cleary London advises opposite Paul Hastings Milan on Whirlpool’s $1bn Indesit acquisition

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton’s London office has advised Whirlpool, the world’s largest manufacturer of home appliances, on its $1.04bn purchase of a majority stake in Italy’s Indesit as the company looks to expand outside the US.

Cleary’s London-based corporate partner Raj Panasar and associate Elizabeth Pennell lined up alongside an Italian corporate team headed out of Milan by partners Roberto Casati and Roberto Bonsignore, that included senior attorney Gerolamo da Passano. The deal also crossed into New York, where corporate partners Christopher Austin, Jeffrey Karpf, and Pamela Marcogliese advised, and in Rome, where partner Mario Siragusa is handling deal clearance with Italy’s competition authority.

Washington DC-based competition partner Brian Byrne, who advised Maytag in its acquisition by Whirlpool in 2006, is handling antitrust clearance in the US.

Cleary also worked alongside local Italian firms Troise Mangoni for administrative law and Jacobacci, which provided IP law.

Washing machine, freezer and cooker maker Indesit, which has eight industrial sites across Italy, Poland, the UK, Turkey and Russia, instructed Paul Hastings corporate partner Bruno Cova, co-chairman of the US firm’s Milan office, to lead the deal alongside corporate partner Antonio Azzar.

Fineldo was assisted by 80-partner firm Gianni Origoni Grippo Cappelli & Partners’ senior partner Francesco Gianni and partner Andrea Aiello.

Whirlpool entered into a binding agreement with Fineldo, the holding company whose assets include a controlling interest in Indesit, for the sale of a 60.4% stake in 16,000-staff company, which also includes the brands Hotpoint and Scholtes.

Part of the deal saw Whirlpool enter into binding share purchase agreements with certain members of the Merloni family, which founded the company in the 1930s, in respect of their Indesit shares.

The acquisition, which is subject to court and antitrust approvals and is expected to close by the end of 2014, will be followed with Whirlpool launching a mandatory tender offer on all remaining Indesit shares.