Whirlpool to take over Maytag

The winner in the Maytag Corp. buyout is rival appliance manufacturer Whirlpool Corp.

The winner in the Maytag Corp. buyout is rival appliance manufacturer Whirlpool Corp. Maytag agreed to the takeover in a cash and stock deal valued at $2.7 billion. Under the agreement, Whirlpool assumes $977 million in Maytag debt.

Before proceeding with Whirlpool's offer, Maytag paid a termination fee to Triton Acquisition Holding, a New York investment group the company already had a merger agreement with, and canceled a September special stockholders meeting to vote on the Triton Acquisition deal.

Jeff Fettig, Whirlpool chairman, president and CEO, says he is confident the Whirlpool-Maytag union will receive regulatory clearance.

"Overall, this transaction will translate into better products, quality and service, as well as added efficiencies," says Fettig. "It will enhance our ability to succeed in the increasingly competitive global homeappliance industry."

The Maytag takeover began in May when Triton Acquisition, led by Ripplewood Holdings LLC and including RHJ International, GS Capital Partners, and the J. Rothschild Group of Companies, offered to buy Maytag for $14 a share. Another appliance producer, China-based Haier Group, along with Bain Capital Partners and Blackstone Management Associates, soon made an unsolicited offer.

Whirlpool submitted an unsolicited offer in July and sweetened it. The appliance manufacturer believes it has sufficient resources to finance the acquisition and has strong support from the banking sector. It expects to finance the merger and upcoming debt maturities through current bank agreements and new committed bank facilities.

Maytag shareholders will receive $10.50 in cash and between 0.1144 and 0.1398 of a share of Whirlpool stock for each of their shares. Whirlpool expects the transaction to close as early as the first quarter of 2006 following approval by Maytag shareholders and regulators.

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