The Middleby Corp. announced on July 13 that it would not raise its $2.9 billion all-stock offer to acquire Welbilt. The decision comes after Welbilt’s board of directors determined that a competing $3.3 billion all-cash bid from Ali Group was the superior offer.
“We believe that the previously agreed terms of the merger agreement between Middleby and Welbilt offered significant long-term strategic value to the Welbilt shareholders through the ability to participate in substantial upside opportunity from Middleby’s continued growth, while remaining attractive to our existing Middleby shareholders,” said Timothy FitzGerald, CEO of Middleby. “As we considered our options over the course of the match period, we concluded to deploy our substantial financial resources wisely. We are excited about the momentum of our business and future prospects of our three industry leading foodservice platforms.”
In accordance with the terms of the merger agreement, Middleby will be entitled to a termination fee of $110 million to be paid by Welbilt simultaneously with the termination of the merger agreement. “The additional cash infusion Middleby stands to receive upon termination will put us in an even better position to execute on our existing M&A growth strategy, as we continue to build upon our long-standing track record of value-creating deals,” FitzGerald added. Middleby has completed more than 20 acquisitions since 2018 alone.