EU clears Whirlpool to buy German kitchen maker Alno

BRUSSELS Tue Nov 20, 2012 5:45am EST

BRUSSELS Nov 20 (Reuters) - U.S. appliance maker Whirlpool secured EU regulatory approval on Tuesday to acquire a controlling stake in Germany's second-largest largest kitchen manufacturer Alno.

The European Commission, which acts as the competition watchdog in the 27-member bloc, said market analysis had shown there was sufficient competition in the markets for kitchen furniture and domestic appliances.

"Customers could easily switch their purchases of kitchen appliance to one of Whirlpool's competitors as an alternative source of supply," the EU executive said in a statement.

Whirlpool, the world's biggest appliance maker, which already owned a 18.8 percent share of Alno, said in July it planned to buy all shares that could not be placed with other investors in a 46 million euro ($59 million) capital raising.