Maytag sets buyout vote Aug. 19

Maytag sets buyout vote Aug. 19
 
Date July 14, 2005
Section(s) Local News
   
 
NEWTON (Dow Jones/AP/Daily News) — Maytag Corp. said late Wednesday it has received Federal Trade Commission approval for the appliance maker’s proposed acquisition by an investor group led by Ripplewood Holdings LLC.

Earlier in May, the home and commercial appliance company agreed to be acquired by Triton Acquisition Holding Co., an entity organized by the Ripplewood investor group, for $14 a share, in a deal valued at about $1.13 billion.

That transaction remains subject to the receipt of debt financing by Triton Acquisition Co., stockholder approval and other customary closing conditions.

Maytag has scheduled a special meeting of stockholders for Aug. 19 to vote on the adoption of the merger agreement. Stockholders of record of Maytag as of July 20, will be entitled to vote on the transaction. Maytag said it plans to mail definitive proxy material to its stockholders on or about July 20.

In June, China’s Haier Electronics Group and U.S. private equity groups Bain Capital Inc. and Blackstone Group made a rival bid, offering to buy Newton-based Maytag for $16 a share or $1.28 billion and raising concerns that the Ripplewood deal could be jeopardized.

Haier told Reuters that it has yet to make a decision on whether to make a formal offer for Maytag.

“Haier Group is very interested in the matter of acquiring Maytag, but up until now has not made any decision regarding the matter of an acquisition,” Haier said in a statement to Reuters on Wednesday.

Triton has put pressure on Maytag to speed up its discussions with Haier saying discussions could result in it walking away from its buyout offer and claiming its $40 million breakup fee.

Maytag shares rose 1 cent to close at $15.60 Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange, 11 percent above Triton’s offer. The stock was down 2 cents in early morning trading.

Triton includes Ripplewood, Goldman Sach’s GS Capital Partners and the J. Rothschild Group. Ripplewood made an initial offer of $23.50 a share in December 2004, Maytag said in an SEC filing, and another offer of $19 a share early this year before the Maytag board of directors approved the $14 a share buyout offer.

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