Losing out to the Ali Group in the race for Welbilt was a major blow for the Middleby Corporation, but the firm has responded to that setback in the only way it knows how – by splashing the cash on yet another cooking equipment manufacturer.
The company has struck a deal to buy Imperial Commercial Cooking Equipment, the fryer and countertop equipment maker with annual revenues of $40m (£29m).
California-based Imperial has been trading since 1957 and supplies a range of cooking equipment to customers around the globe.
In the UK, the brand is sold through Gamble Foodservice Solutions, the Leicestershire firm that also supplies Hatco, FWE and Montague equipment.
Middleby CEO Tim FitzGerald said Imperial was a “highly-respected” brand and would complement its existing core cooking category.
“Imperial has impressive manufacturing capabilities, which will provide potential for greater efficiencies and flexibility to our commercial foodservice platform. Working with our long-standing international distribution partners, Imperial has a prime opportunity to expand its global reach.
“Imperial also has an established presence in the quickly growing fast-casual chain restaurant segment, which will be a benefit to the Middleby brands as well.”