By Craig Zammit

OHIO: Whirlpool has announced that it has finally sold the Hoover floorcare business to Hong Kong’s Techtronic Industries (TTI) for approximately $107 million, after the regulatory review process ceased and Ohio dropped plans to challenge the sale.

The deal will see TTI, maker of Vax and Dirt Devil vacuums, assume operational control of the Hoover business, including manufacturing operations in North Canton, Ohio; El Paso, Texas; Juarez, Mexico and all other Hoover locations.

A new TTI/Hoover headquarters will be established at Glenwillow, approximately 32 kilometres southeast of Cleveland, Ohio, where a new global research and development operation will be created.

Hoover Floorcare Australia general manager, John Kelly, told that he expects a bright future with Techtronic Industries Co. and that new products should be expected in the local market.

“We worked very well with the previous owners and there is a high expectation of positive cooperation with the new owners,” he said.

“We expect that we’ll have access to a good range of products which will serve the Australian market well.

“There is already a new product development program in place, and we anticipate we will continue to work on that to bring new products into market. We’ve identified some new areas that we can excel in and we’re pretty keen to bring that to the Australian market.”

Kelly also confirmed that all products will retain the Hoover branding at this stage.

Only two weeks ago, Ohio State attorney general Marc Dann had threatened to seek a temporary restraining order against TTI’s purchase of Hoover, stating that it could provide TTI too great of a control over the upright vacuum market.

However, an Ohio state review eased Dann’s concerns with TTI assuring that Hoover’s identity would be retained, dispelling anti-competitive concerns.

The Benton Harbour, Michigan-based Whirlpool acquired Hoover last year as part of its $1.8 billion purchase of Hoover’s parent company, Maytag.