Maytag postpones shareholder bid meeting again

Maytag postpones shareholder bid meeting again
 
Date August 18, 2005
Section(s) Local News
Brief  
 
By PETER HUSSMANN

Editor

Maytag Corp. announced on Wednesday that it was again postponing its special meeting of shareholders to vote on Ripplewood’s $14 buyout bid.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Maytag said it was moving the meeting from Aug. 30 to Sept. 9 to give it more time to file and distribute updated proxy materials.

Last Friday, Maytag said Whirlpool’s $1.7 billion, or $21 a share, cash and stock offer was superior to the private equity consortium’s $1.1 billion bid. Both companies had also agreed to pick up nearly $1 billion in Maytag debt.

The Maytag board of directors has reversed its recommendation that shareholders should support Triton Acquisition Holding’s offer, the acquisition vehicle developed by the consortium of private equity firms led by Ripplewood Holdings.

In its SEC filing, Maytag said it notified Triton on Friday of its decision, adding that it can terminate the agreement with the private equity firm if it makes a similar determination on or after Monday, taking into account any revised offer Triton may make. Triton also has the right to terminate the agreement immediately.

Should the acquisition be terminated, by either party, Triton will be entitled to a $40 million break-up fee, which Whirlpool has agreed to reimburse Maytag for paying in the event Maytag enters into the Whirlpool merger agreement.

If the merger agreement between Maytag and Triton is cancelled, the postponed special meeting will be cancelled.

In separate news on Wednesday, an investment firm that opposed Maytag‘s merger agreement with Triton announced it has lowered its stake in the Newton-based home appliance manufacturer.

Brandeis Investments Partners L.P. of San Diego said in a SEC filing that it now owns 6.35 million Maytag shares, a 7.96 percent stake in the company.

In May, when the firm announced that it planned to vote against the Maytag-Triton merger because the $14 per share offer did not represent a fair value for the company, Brandeis said it owned 8.4 million shares, a 10.5 percent stake in the company.

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