Middleby snaps up Italian catering equipment manufacturer

The Middleby Corporation has boosted its steam cooking equipment offering in one move by snapping up Italian manufacturer Firex.

The Sedico-based outfit is a leading manufacturer of steam cooking equipment for the commercial foodservice industry with revenues of around $20m (£14m) a year. Middleby plans to make its products available to multiple markets.

Selim Bassoul, CEO of The Middleby Corporation, said the deal strengthens its heavy duty cooking portfolio and will allow it to introduce new technology to the worldwide markets that it serves.

“The Firex acquisition extends our product offerings in steam and sous vide cooking, categories which continue to grow due to health benefits and enhanced food quality,” he explained.

“Firex products are highly innovative and include automated features allowing for reduced labour, increased capacity and standardization of cooking processes. We see expanded opportunities for growth as we introduce Firex products in the US to complement our current equipment line-up and in the international markets leveraging our infrastructure and customer relationships globally.”

Middleby did not reveal the value of the acquisition, which is the first that it has made in the commercial catering equipment market this year.

Firex manufacturers a wide range of cooking equipment, from automatic bratt pans to small tilting kettles. Its ‘Major Line’ is aimed at large caterers, ‘its ‘Medium Line’ for cooking centres, canteens and centralised kitchens, and its ‘Fast Line’ of basic machines for smaller caterers.

Pictured is Firex’s High P-vacuum cooker, which is able to reduce cooking times and boil, braise, mix and cut thanks to its mixing and cutting system and pump technology.

The company also produces a ‘Dreener Line’ comprising a vegetable washer and spin dryer.

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