By Sarah Falson

TOTTENHAM, Vic: Recent speculation that Breville’s parent company, Housewares International, will merge with or be bought by arch-rival Sunbeam’s parent, GUD Holdings, is based on “nothing but rumours,” according to GUD.

The Australian Financial Review reported this morning that GUD would do well to purchase Housewares because if it did it could expand its presence overseas, which it can’t currently do under its own brand because of arrangements from the old Sunbeam Corporation.

The same article claimed that for GUD to get a “beachhead” into another market with a brand new name would be too expensive, not only creating the new brand but also securing distribution channels.

Housewares has been approached by “a number of parties” with bids for the small appliance-maker, said Housewares last week, and even appointed the services of UBS Bank Investment to handle the bids, but it is not confirmed that GUD was one of those parties.

In fact, it has not been confirmed that GUD is looking to expand its presence to the overseas market, like Breville has done so successfully with its blenders, mixers and coffee makers being bought by the likes of USA-based specialty-retailer, Williams Sonoma.

“[The newspapers] have trotted out three or four rumours about this already. They do it pretty regularly,” GUD managing director, Ian Campbell, told today.

According to Campbell, similar reports were found in the news approximately four years ago, then again six months ago, and now the “rumour” has begun again.

“If we had anything to say, we’d say it to the ASX, as we’re legally obliged to do,” said the boss of the publicly-listed company.

“But we don’t respond to rumours,” he said.