Buying WMF

French Take the Lead in Europe’s Kitchens

WMF a pot on a stove
Chef, what's cooking?
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    If French company SEB’s takeover of WMF, a German manufacturer of tableware, goes ahead, it will add to the French company’s host of household brands, helping create a European kitchen powerhouse.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • WMF makes cutlery, pots and coffee machines and is owned by U.S. private equity firm KKR.
    • SEB Group makes pans, kitchenware and coffee machines and owns the brands Tefal, Moulinex and Krups.
    • The move will help SEB strengthen its position in coffee machines, an attractive growth area worldwide.
  • Audio

    Audio

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SEB’s purchase of WMF, a German maker of coffee machines, cutlery and porcelain, brings the French appliance producer to the head of the table on Europe’s kitchenware market.

In Paris, SEB’s share price rose 15 percent to a record high following its announcement on Monday that it would pay €1.02 billion, or $1.14 billion, for the German company, which is based in southern Germany in the town of Geislingen an der Steige.

SEB owns other kitchen brands, including Moulinex, Tefal and Krups, and made its offer to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, the private equity company which first invested in WMF in 2012. Including debt and pension liabilities, the deal is valued at €1.7 billion, or $1.8 billion.

WMF, a well-known German brand that initially made metal goods, started producing silverware, pots and pans in the mid-1950s. It developed strongly under KKR and has become a global leader in making professional coffee machines and Germany’s main provider of cookware for households. It also makes equipment for hotels.

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