Appliance maker Whirlpool Corporation announced that it has entered into a mutual confidentiality agreement with Maytag Corporation.
The agreement allows Whirlpool to immediately commence the due diligence phase of its proposed acquisition of Maytag. Whirlpool said it would make no further comment at the time.
The announcement came after Whirlpool raised its initial acquisition bid of U.S. $17 per share to $18 per share, a 29-percent premium over Maytag's initial agreement with the Ripplewood-led transaction of $14 per share.
"This proposal is the best solution with clearly superior value compared to the Triton offer. I expect the Maytag board of directors to do what's best for Maytag shareholders and immediately and fully support this proposal," Jeff M. Fettig, Whirlpool's chairman, president, and CEO, said at the time of the offer.
In response to the raised bid, Maytag said that it expected the terms of a definitive agreement, if any, with Whirlpool to take into account the risks to Maytag of non-consummation, Whirlpool's assertion that the antitrust clearance process can be completed by the end of 2005, and Whirlpool's overwhelming confidence that there is no antitrust problem in a Maytag/Whirlpool combination.
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