By James Wells

SYDNEY: Electrolux will continue to manufacture Hoover-branded washing machines and dryers for at least another 12 months under an existing licensing agreement which will not be affected by the sale of the Hoover floorcare business.

Electrolux Home Products managing director, Trevor Carroll told that the agreement to license the Hoover brand in the Australian market will continue until the beginning of 2008.

"Nothing has changed as far as the Hoover trademark is concerned on washers and dryers manufactured by Electrolux Home Products," Carroll said.

"Nothing changed when Whirlpool acquired Maytag and we expect the trademark licensing agreement will remain in place until early 2008."

In Australia, the Hoover trademark for whitegoods is not licensed to Whirlpool, but rather to Electrolux Home Products.

The agreement follows a deal signed between US-based Maytag and Sydney-based Southcorp in 1999, and will continue until 2008 even though both companies are now owned by Whirlpool and Electrolux Home Products respectively.

It is not clear at this stage which company will be responsible for Hoover distribution in Australia after this time.

Whirlpool purchased Maytag for $US2.7 billion earlier this year. In May, Whirlpool announced it would be selling the Dixie Narco vending machine business and the Amana commercial microwave business, the sales of which have both been completed.

The private equity group which purchased Hoover is Hong Kong-based Techtronic Industries Co., which makes Dirt Devil and Regina vacuums in the US and Vax in the UK.

According to a report by Reuters, Techtronic wants to “heavily invigorate” the Hoover brand. The Hoover deal was signed for $US107 million, which Reuters believes fell short of expectations due to bidding rivalry from a Workers Union based in North Canton, where one of Hoover’s three US manufacturing plants resides.

In addition to the sale of the Hoover floorcare business, Whirlpool is also expected to sell the Jade commercial appliance business in the near future.