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Swiss firm buys Miele kitchen division

Miele's kitchen production site employs 300 people (Miele)

AFG Arbonia Forster has bought the kitchen furniture division of the German household appliances company, Miele.

The value of the deal has not been revealed but analysts estimate that the price was around SFr30 million ($24 million).

The acquisition makes the Swiss group one of the major European players in this sector.

AFG will take over the production site at Warendorf in Germany and continue to employ the 300 people working there, the company said.

Miele generates two per cent of its annual turnover of SFr3.5 billion from the kitchen division.

Miele decided to offload its kitchen furniture production for strategic reasons. The group intends to limit itself to the production and servicing of electrical household and industrial appliances.

The director of AFG Edgar Oehler said the new acquisition would give AFG a boost towards its global targets for its kitchen division.

In the medium term, a third of AFG's turnover is expected to come from abroad. In 2004 turnover grew to SFr1.02 billion.

AFG also produces sanitary installations, heating, doors, windows and steel tubes. Last year it employed 4,600 people.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

Miele's kitchen division has an estimated turnover of SFr70 million.
Turnover for the entire German group is around SFr3.5 billion.
Miele's distribution outlets are present in most of Europe, in the United States, in Canada, South Africa, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong.
In 2004, turnover at AFG Arbonia Forster reached SFr1.02 billion.
The Swiss group is active in Europe, China, Russia and in the United States.

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