Standex International has agreed a deal to sell its cooking division to the Middleby Corporation for $105m (£79m).
The company – which closed its UK sales office at the end of 2014 but has still been supplying into the market through distributor partners – has been looking to offload its Cooking Solutions Group (CSG) since last year after deciding it no longer fitted with the direction of the business.
The agreement adds even further scale to Middleby’s burgeoning cooking equipment business by giving it access to brands such as APW Wyott, Bakers Pride, Tri-Star, BKI, Barbecue King and Ultrafryer.
In fiscal year 2018, CSG net revenues were $97.9m (£73.8m), which represented approximately 25% of its overall foodservice equipment sales and 10% of its business in total.
Standex president and CEO, David Dunbar, said the company had undertaken a “thorough competitive process” before putting pen to paper with Middleby.
He said: “We believe that the outcome of this process is in the best interests of our shareholders as well as our CSG employees and customers, who will be well served by Middleby. We believe Middleby is well-placed to enable the CSG business to grow and reach its strategic potential.
“In support of our strategic vision to become a best-in-class operating company, Standex will deploy the proceeds from the sale according to our capital allocation model to grow our strategic platforms, drive enhanced profitability and create value for our shareholders.”
Speculation that Standex was close to finding a buyer for the business had grown louder in recent weeks after it sold its minority interest in Italian combi oven maker Giorik.
It claimed that divesting its stake in Giorik to the firm’s majority owner was necessary to allow the eventual buyer of Cooking Solutions maximum flexibility and to have a supply contract with the partner in place.