Middleby CEO Tim FitzGerald has said that working closely with his Welbilt counterparts on their anticipated merger – one of the largest the foodservice equipment industry has ever seen – has only heightened his enthusiasm for the deal.
The Illinois-based firm intends to take over Welbilt – which owns brands such as Cleveland, Frymaster and Garland – in an all-stock merger transaction worth $4.3 billion (£3.08 billion).
In a letter to stakeholders, Mr FitzGerald said that Middleby and Welbilt “share many similarities as companies”, including a deep commitment to customers, industry partners and employees.
He wrote: “Having worked closely with the Welbilt team during this engagement has only heightened our enthusiasm. Following the closing of the transaction, we look forward to bringing the two organisations together to best serve our customers and the foodservice industry.”
Mr Fitzgerald added that the acquisition will bring many opportunities for the expanded growth of its collective brands, products and people.
“The complementary nature of our businesses will allow us to expand product offerings, increase operating capabilities and enhance support to our customers globally.
“Middleby and Welbilt both have a long track record of innovation. This transaction will allow us to accelerate investments in technology and solutions even further to address the rapidly changing needs of the foodservice industry.”
The deal creates an entity that will boast 80 brands and 60 manufacturing facilities, including 41 in North America.
The merger is expected to close in late 2021, pending regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions, including approval by the shareholders of both companies.