Appliance maker Maytag Corporation announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement by which an investor group led by private equity firm Ripplewood Holdings LLC will acquire all outstanding shares of Maytag in a cash merger for U.S. $14 per share.
The board of directors of Maytag has approved the merger agreement and intends to recommend to Maytag's shareholders that they adopt the agreement.
The aggregate transaction value, including assumption of approximately $975 million of debt, is approximately $2.1 billion. The transaction is expected to close prior to year end and is subject to Maytag shareholder approval, as well as other closing conditions, including the receipt of financing and regulatory approval.
In addition to Ripplewood, other members of the investor group include RHJ International, GS Capital Partners, and the J. Rothschild Group of Companies.
"After careful consideration in conjunction with our independent advisors and an independent committee of Maytag's board consisting of all non-management directors, we have concluded that this transaction is in the best interest of our shareholders," said Lester Crown, Maytag board member since 1989. "This transaction will also provide Maytag with greater flexibility as a private company to accomplish long-term goals set out for the Company."
Ralph Hake, Maytag CEO, added: "Ripplewood has an excellent track record of building value at its portfolio companies by providing strong financial and strategic support. Ripplewood is active in the global markets and brings extensive operating expertise in Asia and Europe, as well as North America, to Maytag."
Ripplewood CEO and founder Timothy C. Collins said, "Maytag is a legendary company, with a portfolio of world-class brands and a long history of producing high-quality, innovative products. We see an opportunity to leverage these strengths and build Maytag into a global leader as the fragmented home and commercial appliances industry consolidates.
"Our objectives for Maytag are to continue to take action to become a global low-cost producer and to accelerate growth by introducing innovative new products, expanding its presence in international markets and pursuing selective acquisitions," Mr. Collins continued. "We very much look forward to working with Ralph Hake and his management team, employees, customers, and retail partners to restore the luster that this well- known consumer and home appliance company enjoyed for so many decades."
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