Maytag agrees to open its books to Whirlpool

Maytag agrees to open its books to Whirlpool
Date July 27, 2005
Section(s) Local News
BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Maytag Corp., which has already accepted one buyout offer, has agreed to open its books to Whirlpool Corp. which has proposed paying even more for its appliance making rival.

Whirlpool said in a statement today that it has entered into a mutual confidentiality agreement with Newton, Iowa-based Maytag under which it can examine Maytag‘s financial records in more detail. Whirlpool has offered $18 a share, or about $1.43 billion, for Maytag.

Maytag has already signed an agreement to be acquired by Triton Acquisition Holding Co., an investment group led by New York-based Ripplewood Holdings, for $14 per share, or about $1.13 billion.

Maytag shareholders are scheduled to vote on that offer on Aug. 19.

Maytag spokesperson John Daggett confirmed today the two companies have entered a mutually agreeable confidentiality agreement and that Whirlpool had begun its due diligence process concerning the takeover offer. Maytag had said Sunday that it was hesitant to open its books to Whirlpool.

Maytag‘s board of directors was hesitant because of concerns over the timing of the completion of a purchase and the valuation of stock in the deal, which would pay Maytag shareholders half in cash and half in Whirlpool stock.

Other concerns included the time Whirlpool would take to study Maytag finances.

Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool on Friday increased its bid to acquire Maytag by $1 per share from $17 per share.

On Sunday, Maytag said it had concluded the Whirlpool offer was likely to prove better than the Triton deal and had a reasonable chance of gaining regulatory approval. But Maytag‘s board continued to support the Triton offer.

Maytag had previously asserted concerns over whether a Whirlpool purchase of Maytag would be approved by federal regulators, who might have antitrust concerns about the combination of the leading appliance manufacturer with the nation’s third largest.

Whirlpool has said it studied the antitrust issue extensively and offered assurance that merging the two companies would be approved.


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