Welbilt and Ali Group do not expect to complete their merger before the end of the year, with “early 2022” currently earmarked as the date when it will close.
The transaction, which is not conditioned on financing, is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including the approval of Welbilt shareholders.
Upon completion, Welbilt’s shares will no longer trade on the New York Stock Exchange.
Ali Group will acquire Welbilt in an all-cash transaction for $24 a share after rival Middleby said it was not willing to increase its offer for the business despite its original proposal being accepted back in April.
Ali Group’s offer is worth approximately $3.5 billion (£2.5 billion) in aggregate equity value and $4.8 billion (£3.5 billion) in enterprise value.
The boards of directors of both companies have unanimously approved the merger agreement.
In addition, activist investor Carl Icahn, who owns 7.7% of Welbilt stock, has entered into a support agreement in favour of the transaction.
Bill Johnson, president and CEO of Welbilt (main image, left), said the deal delivers “outstanding value” to Welbilt shareholders and the company would benefit from the expertise and resources of Ali Group.
“This transaction provides a compelling and certain cash value to Welbilt shareholders at an attractive premium and will create a global leader in the foodservice equipment and solutions industry with a full range of connectable foodservice solutions for our customers.
“I want to thank each of our employees for their hard work and dedication to the success of Welbilt, which has positioned us to reach this agreement today. On behalf of the Welbilt board and management team, we are excited to work closely with Filippo and the Ali Group team as we bring our companies together.”
Ali Group sees the move as a chance to create a comprehensive product portfolio and enhance its global footprint.
Filippo Berti, chairman and CEO of Ali Group (main image, right), said: “We have long admired Welbilt’s heritage, breadth of products, brand strength and management team, and together we will have an expanded range of innovative products.
“The transaction marks a significant milestone in Ali Group’s history and will position us to better serve our customers and capitalize on attractive growth opportunities. We are excited to welcome Welbilt and its employees to the Ali Group family as we strengthen our global presence and continue to build on our culture of quality and innovation.”