Chinese home appliance maker Haier Group is considering making a bid for Maytag Corp, the struggling U.S. appliance group that last month agreed to be taken private by Ripplewood Holdings in a 2.1 bln usd deal, the Financial Times reported.
The newspaper, citing people familiar with the matter, said Haier's interest has emerged towards the end of a 30-day period during which Maytag could solicit alternative offers for the company.
Haier is the only buyer from the industry that is considering an offer. Private equity groups including Bain Capital, Blackstone, and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts are also exploring a bid.
The paper, citing one person close to the situation, cautioned that although a counterbid had become realistic, there were no guarantees that Haier or the private equity groups would decide to table an offer that could edge out Ripplewood's.
Because last month's deal was negotiated exclusively, without an auction, the merger document included a clause allowing Maytag to solicit other bids for 30 days, the paper said. That provision expires on Friday, after which the door would in effect shut on talks with other parties.
The paper said an acquisition of Maytag would make Haier one of the top four appliance manufacturers in the U.S., alongside Whirlpool, GE, and Electrolux of Sweden. (AFX)
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