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Nidec disputes Whirlpool's breach of obligations claim in Embraco deal

Nidec Corp. disputed Whirlpool Corp.'s claim that the Japanese electronic products manufacturer is in breach of its obligations under its agreement to acquire the Michigan-based company's Brazilian compressor division, Embraco - Empresa Brasileira de Compressores SA, according to a March 11 release.

The statement follows the household-appliance maker's decision to file a lawsuit March 8 that will pressure Nidec to obtain antitrust approvals for the $1.08 billion transaction in time for the deal's scheduled close April 24.

According to a March 11 filing with the SEC, Whirlpool believes the lawsuit, lodged in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, will expedite the process and allow the deal to close on schedule. The original agreement also permits the acquisition to close six months after the initial closing deadline.

Whirlpool added that it is still confident that Nidec's purchase of Embraco will close and that it will take all actions to complete the deal by April 24.

Meanwhile, Nidec said in a statement it believes that the allegations from Whirlpool were "without merit" and that "it is doing all things necessary, proper or advisable to obtain the required antitrust approvals" by the closing deadline.

The transaction, announced April 24, 2018, has gained authorization from antitrust regulators in the U.S., Brazil and China and is awaiting the same from regulators in Europe and other jurisdictions.

In November 2018, the EU began investigating the acquisition over concerns that the deal could significantly reduce competition in Europe's refrigeration compressors space. Nidec's acquisition of Embraco could potentially lead to higher prices and lower supply, the EU also said.