Deadline set for Whirlpool offer

Deadline set for Whirlpool offer
Date August 02, 2005
Section(s) Local News
DES MOINES (AP) — Whirlpool Corp. must submit a firm offer to buy Maytag Corp. no later than noon next Tuesday, according to documents filed today with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Details of an agreement between Whirlpool, the nation’s largest appliance maker, and Maytag, the third largest, were outlined in the documents.

Maytag‘s filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission stated that it and Whirlpool agreed to certain “standstill” provisions as part of a recent confidentiality accord that allowed the companies to start due diligence, or the sharing of proprietary financial information.

For instance, the confidentiality agreement signed July 26 says that for three years the two appliance makers agreed not to take certain actions such as seeking to control or influence management or board members of the other company without that company’s permission.

Maytag must have 96 hours plus five days to consider any changes in the Whirlpool offer, such as an increase in the per share value of the offer. Whirlpool’s offer, which remains tentative, stands at $18 per share, or $1.43 billion.

Triton Acquisition Holding Co., an investment group led by New York-based Ripplewood Holdings, has offered $14 per share, or about $1.13 billion. Maytag shareholders are scheduled to vote on that offer Aug. 19.

If Triton’s offer is declined by shareholders, Whirlpool can “submit to the Maytag board a proposal to acquire the company,” the document said. The Maytag board continues to endorse the Triton bid.

Whirlpool also informed Maytag on Tuesday that Whirlpool’s top 20 trade customers support the purchase of Maytag and the balance did not indicate opposition.

Whirlpool said one the top four major appliance retailers has written a letter of support and two have indicated they are not opposed to the deal, but have corporate policies against such letters.

The fourth has a policy of not commenting on pending mergers, Whirlpool officials said.

Maytag was trading 5 cents higher at $16.95 this morning on the New York Stock Exchange. Whirlpool shares were trading $1.09 lower, or 1.37 percent, to $78.65.


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