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Daily News

Regal Acquires West Bend
Oct 8, 2002
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Electric housewares and cookware maker Regal Ware said it had acquired The West Bend Company. Regal Ware is based in Kewaskum, WI, U.S., and West Bend is based in West Bend, WI. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

“For 57 years, Regal Ware and The West Bend Company have been aggressive but friendly competitors,” said James D. Reigle, chairman of the board of Regal Ware, Inc. “We can now join forces and use our combined strengths to focus on worldwide competition.”

Regal Ware acquired the assets of The West Bend Company’s Premiere Cookware, Water Systems and Housewares business units. The terms of the acquisition also include a West Bend manufacturing facility.

Following the acquisition, revenues of the new company are projected to be approximately U.S. $200 million.

Both companies produce cooking products marketed through direct sales distribution channels. The similar structure of the two companies, which competed with each other as well as with international producers, made the acquisition a natural, according to Mr. Reigle.

The West Bend Company was a business unit of Illinois Tool Works, Inc., Glenview, IL, U.S., a $9.3 billion diversified manufacturer of highly engineered components and industrial systems. Negotiations had been underway between ITW and Regal Ware since January 2002.

At meetings with employees and union leaders, Mr. Reigle told employees that The West Bend Company products will continue to be marketed under the well-known West Bend brand name. Reigle also announced that Regal Ware management, along with the assistance of West Bend management, will be evaluating all aspects of both businesses and will develop long-term strategies for the creation of the new company.

“This is a very strategic move to combine the strengths of two great companies with long histories of excellence in marketing and manufacturing,” Reigle said. “The result will be a healthier and more viable company for the employees, our associated communities, and customers.”

Regal Ware currently makes cookware as well as coffeemakers, other electric appliances, and water filtration systems for residential consumers. A separate commercial division primarily services restaurants and hotels. Regal Ware markets its products in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Asia, and Europe.

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