Middleby signs billion dollar deal to acquire Taylor

The Middleby Group should soon be adding Taylor to its roster of brands.

The Middleby Corporation is to acquire the Taylor Company from UTC Climate, Controls & Security, a unit of United Technologies, for $1.0bn (£745m).

One of the largest deals in the foodservice equipment industry for a number of years, the all‐cash acquisition is being financed by Middleby under its existing revolving credit facility.

Taylor is most well-known for its ice cream dispensing machines, but it also manufactures frozen drinks machines and automated double-sided grills. The Rockton, Illinois-based firm generated revenues of $315m (£235m) in 2017, as well as EBITDA of $65m (£48m).

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The transaction completion is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, with an expected conclusion early in the third quarter of 2018.

Middleby is targeting synergies in excess of $15m (£11m) between the two companies and believes the deal will increase earnings per share within the first year of acquisition.

Selim A. Bassoul, chairman and CEO, stated: “The acquisition of Taylor is highly strategic for Middleby and bolsters Middleby’s overall position as an industry leader in commercial foodservice.

“Taylor is a unique and premium brand in the commercial foodservice industry with leading positions in beverage, frozen dessert and grilling that are highly complementary to our existing offerings. Taylor products are well represented across the top restaurant chains and have significant presence across all foodservice segments including quick serve, casual dining, retail, convenience stores, and institutional foodservice establishments. The acquisition further deepens our presence in these categories and with existing customers for new offerings in the kitchen.”

He continued: “Taylor provides a leading platform to continue to build our portfolio of beverage solutions, complementing our existing brands and technologies in this product category. We believe Taylor is well positioned for growth as customers continue to invest in and expand their beverage offerings. Additionally, there are significant technology synergies amongst Taylor and our existing related businesses, which should further add to the growth opportunities in this category.”

“The Taylor automated double‐sided grill expands our cooking line-up with an advanced technology that provides customers with a specialised solution addressing labour savings, food safety and superior cooking performance. This acquisition enhances Middleby’s existing capabilities in automated cooking solutions and adds a critical technology as we further develop our portfolio of automated cooking solutions.”

Bassoul concluded: “We are very excited to have the Taylor management team and employees join the Middleby group of companies. The Taylor leadership team has deep industry experience and is highly respected by customers. This team has guided the company to strong levels of profitability and consistent financial performance over many years. We look forward to having them continue to lead the Taylor business, which will continue to operate from its existing facilities in Rockton, Illinois.”

In the UK, Taylor is sold through Suffolk-based HTG Trading, also the UK supplier of Scotsman ice machines. HTG told Catering Insight’s sister title, Foodservice Equipment Journal, that it was waiting to hear from Taylor’s factory before commenting on the implications of the deal for the UK market. The company said that once it knows more it intends to make a statement.

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