Whirlpool and Middleby fight over Aga stoves | RetailDetail

Whirlpool and Middleby fight over Aga stoves

Whirlpool and Middleby fight over Aga stoves

American Whirlpool is preparing a take-over bid for the manufacturer of the British cast iron Aga stoves, which would mean American Middleby would not actually acquire the same company.

Last-minute effort

Aga Rangemaster's management agreed to a 129 million pound (175 million euro) acquisition from American industrial kitchen manufacturer Middleby, which already has the so-called American counterpart for the Aga stoves, called Viking. The only matter that still had to be resolved was that the shareholders had to approve the acquisition, a vote which would take place on 8 September.

 

With just days to go until that vote, American electronics manufacturer Whirlpool has now entered the fray. The company has asked to see the books in order to plan a bid, which will have to be higher than the 1.85 pounds per share Middleby offered. In a statement to the London stock exchange, the company is said to be surprised by Whirlpool's action, "in particular why it has waited until this late stage in the process to approach AGA”. It also points out that "there is no certainty Whirlpool will ultimately make any offer."

 

The revelation did help spike Leamington Spa-based Aga Rangemaster's shares, up to 2.08 pounds. That is double what it was worth not more than 6 months ago.

 

93 years of British tradition in financial distress

Founded 93 years ago, Aga is considered to what Rolls Royce is to cars and what Burberry is to fashion: a very traditional British brand that sells very expensive items for a minute target audience. Aga's cast iron stoves, easily weighing 400 kg and costing up to 14,000 euro, can be found in the kitchens of many a celebrity, like Madonna, Kate Winslet, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jeremy Clarkson and Prince Charles.

 

Despite a sizeable 17 % operational profit increase to 2.8 million pounds (3.8 million euro), Aga Rangemaster still posted a 3.9 million pounds (5.3 million euro) net loss. All of this is because it still has to deal with huge retirement costs from the past: according to its accounting numbers, it still has to deal with 47 million pounds (64 million euro) in this regard.

Questions or comments? Please feel free to contact the editors


Ceconomy sells its Russian division

21/06/2018

Ceconomy, MediaMarkt's parent company, has sold its onerous Russian division to local electronics chain M.video. The German electronics giant does not quit Russia altogether however, as it continues as shareholder of M.video.

LVMH's Bernard Arnault invests in refurbished phones

14/06/2018

BackMarket, a French start-up that wants to be a marketplace for refurbished smart phones, tablets and laptops, has secured a 41 million euro investment. The most famous new investor is Bernard Arnault, CEO of luxury group LVMH.

Coolblue closes hundreds of web shops

11/06/2018

Dutch e-commerce group Coolblue has terminated hundreds of its web shops, instead preferring one central web shop at coolblue.be/nl. This may be the precursor to an international expansion, the company says.

Xiaomi's European conquest goes through Paris

23/05/2018

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi just opened a physical store in Paris, part of its ambitious European expansion plan. The brand is also dreaming of an American launch.

Fnac Darty and MediaMarkt Saturn enter purchase alliance

16/05/2018

French electronics retailer Fnac Darty has set up a purchase alliance with competitor MediaMarkt Saturn. Both companies will buy together when it comes to the European retail market.

Amazon looking to outbid Walmart in Flipkart deal

03/05/2018

The battle for dominance on the Indian e-commerce market seems to be stepping up a notch: Amazon may be looking to buy a majority stake in Flipkart, trying to better Walmart which already started negociations with the Indian online retailer.