Saeco’s Australian office happy with Philips’ takeover bid

By Patrick Avenell

MELBOURNE, SYDNEY: The general manager of Saeco’s Australian subsidiary, Chris Egan, has said he’s not worried the impending global takeover of the brand will have any adverse effect on the local operations.

After it was confirmed yesterday that Philips is in the final stages of taking over Saeco International, Egan said he was looking forward to meeting with Philips’ staff both here and abroad.

In a brief message to the media, a Philips spokesperson said “Royal Philips Electronics announced today (25 May 2009) that it has reached a binding agreement to acquire Saeco International Group…Successful completion of this transaction is, amongst others, subject to Philips reaching a final agreement with Saeco’s banks with which the company has outstanding credit obligations.”

Current.com.au contacted Chris Egan from the 100 per cent Saeco-owned Australian subsidiary to ask what this means for his office.

“It is still a little too early to tell, but once the arrangement with Philips is finalized, then they will collectively decide how to manage the markets around the world; until then it’s business as usual,” said Egan.

When asked if he was worried that the takeover may have negative repercussions for the Saeco in Australia, Egan pointed to his brand’s recent good times as reason to be positive.

“We’ve been constantly growing our market share in Australia, and we recently entered the capsule market. You never know, but they won’t damage something that’s been working so well.”

Once the global takeover is complete, Egan and his staff in Melbourne will at some stage meet with their Philips counterparts, currently based in Sydney. We asked if he was looking forward to this.

“Sure, one way or another, both our businesses will benefit.”

According to Philips media spokesperson, Saeco International is currently the European leader in automatic espresso machines, with 30 per cent market share. The Italian head office is based in Bologna, and the group employs around 1,400 staff.

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