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Whirlpool to buy Sanyo

BENTON HARBOR (WKZO) -- Whirlpool Corporation is looking to expand its foothold in Asia.

The Benton Harbor-based appliance manufacturer is set to purchase 51-percent of China-based Sanyo, with the 552-million dollar deal expected to close by the end of next year.  The deal is expected to have a larger impact in China and the rest of Asia than it will on the domestic market.

Whirlpool is the world's largest appliance maker, and is looking to capitalize on a growing middle class in China.