* F&P Appliances major shareholder Haier considers takeover
* Haier hopes to boost technology, improve quality -analysts
* Convincing offer would be north of NZ$1.10, NZ$1.15
(Adds analyst comment, share price)
By Naomi Tajitsu
WELLINGTON, Sept 10 China's Haier Electronics
Group Co Ltd is looking at a takeover of New Zealand
kitchen and laundry appliance maker Fisher and Paykel Appliances
Ltd -- a move that would beef up its technology and
help it expand overseas.
Shares in New Zealand's largest appliance manufacturer
surged as much as 40 percent on Monday to a 3-1/2 year high
after it said that Haier, which currently owns 20 percent of the
company, had approached three other shareholders about possibly
buying their stakes.
The shares last traded up 28 percent at NZ$0.96, their
highest level since late 2008 and valuing the company at around
NZ$688 million ($560 million).
F&P's directors said in a statement if an offer were to be
made, the price "indicated by Haier (which would be subject to
conditions) would represent a premium" but did not reveal the
indicated price. F&P's shares had closed at NZ$0.750 on Friday.
Brian Gaynor, director of Milford Asset Management, said
Haier, one of the world's largest appliance manufacturers, would
have to offer more than NZ$1.00 per share to show it was serious
about a takeover.
"Whether the takeover goes through will depend on the price.
It will have to be north of NZ$1.10, NZ$1.15," he said.
The three shareholders Haier approached are Australia's
Orbis Investment Management, which owns around 17 percent, AMP
Capital Investors which holds about 5 percent, and the
state-owned Accident Compensation Corp has about 8 percent.
AMP declined to comment. Orbis and Accident Compensation
Corp were not immediately available to comment.
Known for its double-door dishwashers and washing machines
with advanced technology, F&P Appliances had been hit by the
global credit crisis as reduced demand was aggravated by a high
New Zealand dollar.
But analysts said the company turned a corner in the past
year and has a solid outlook.
"Fisher and Paykel would be an ideal company for (Haier) to
stitch on to their existing operations and use their
technology," said Gaynor.
Last month, F&P announced a surge in net profits for the
first four months of the year and said it would resume dividend
payments this year.
It expects full year operations earnings of NZ$70
million-NZ$78 million before taxes for the current year.
F&P has moved most of its manufacturing to low cost Mexico
and Thailand. It also has a consumer finance business.
($1 = 1.2337 New Zealand dollars)
(Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by Lincoln Feast and