Gorenje Group is currently undergoing a major transition – it is as we speak becoming a part of Hisense Group.
Gorenje Group’s strategic guidelines have been constantly driving towards exploring potential strategic alliances. In 2017, the company started to actively pursue strategic partnership opportunities. We asked Franjo Bobinac, President of the Management Board at Gorenje Group to give an update on the process.
Over the last years the white goods industry was characterised by globalisation and consolidation. Our aim was to pursue growth of business and economies of scale to guarantee cost competitiveness, strengthen the power of our brands, and of course accelerate product innovation and business digitalisation.
Why was the Hisense Group chosen?
Five companies from our industry expressed their interest in partnering with us. We invited three of them to take part in the next stage. After a detailed review of the company’s operations, all three interested companies found that Gorenje was a good company and they submitted their respective binding takeover offers. Working with our consultants and some of the major shareholders, we have examined all three offers – all were good and fully met our expectations about providing quality foundations for Gorenje’s development and future growth. We found that the Chinese corporation Hisense submitted the best offer for all shareholders. The process was highly competitive, which proves that Gorenje was of exceptional strategic importance for the largest companies in the industry. The takeover bid that followed was successful, Hisense acquired over 95% of all Gorenje shares.
What are your plans after the acquisition? What does it mean for the future of the Gorenje brand?
The European Commission has already approved the proposed concentration between Hisense Group and Gorenje Group which is in line with the joint market, so we are already one company. This is good news for the future of Gorenje. Once a part of a larger group with revenues of close to €13 billion, we will be able to strengthen our market position worldwide, ensure faster product development and better procurement terms as well as new distribution channels. Hisense’s plans for Gorenje are bold.
Gorenje’s partnership with Hisense will bring mutual growth
We are to become the development and production hub for Hisense Group in Europe. This will bring better utilisation of current and development of future production capacities in Velenje and at other Gorenje Group facilities. Though early for detailed plans, we can already announce our plans to start manufacturing TV sets again, to be sold under the Hisense brand in Europe and overseas.
Speaking of development – what are your latest achievements you will be showcasing at IFA 2018?
At Gorenje Group we strategically invest over 3% of our annual revenue in the development of new products. At this year’s IFA, we are proudly presenting our superior new generation of Gorenje WaveActive washing machines and tumble dryers which are not only a technological leap forward but have also been awarded with two Red Dot design awards for exceptional design. Smart home is another important theme of Gorenje’s IFA stand as we will be showcasing a Gorenje ConnectLife home corner with smart appliances and guided presentations, showing how users can interact with Gorenje products and services to simplify their daily chores.
The Gorenje Group ConnectLife platform features advanced digital consumer services and solutions, suitable for the new range of connected as well as not connected Gorenje appliances across all product categories. We have entered the world of intelligent appliances and artificial intelligence and we will continue developing new solutions and meeting our consumers’ expectations.
It’s all about Life Simplified at Gorenje. How does this promise of simplicity relate to the digitalisation trend which is becoming more and more prominent also in the white goods industry?
That is true. We are living the motto and creating new products and services with Life Simplified in mind. Our appliances are an inconspicuous assistance to users at everyday chores. We’ve also implemented a new, refreshed Gorenje product identity Human Simplicity that follows the promise of our brand to simplify lives. Smart appliances and services are a part of that concept too, as we are in transition from home appliance manufacturer to service provider.
Photo: Franjo Bobinac, President of the Management Board, Gorenje Group