Timetable set for Middleby’s British brand acquisition

Catering equipment manufacturer giant, the Middleby Corporation, is ready to add British group, Aga Rangemaster, to its portfolio of companies.

Middleby made an offer in July to purchase all the share capital of the Leamington Spa-based firm at £1.85 per share.

Aga Rangemaster’s shareholders will meet on 8 September to discuss the deal, with the takeover due to be completed on 23 September if they approve it.

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The UK business is well known in the domestic sector, owning brands such as Aga, Rayburn, Rangemaster, Falcon (domestic) and Mercury, as well as the Irish based Stanley and Redfyre firms, La Cornue of France and Aga Marvel in the US.

Middleby is inheriting a mixed bag of financial performance at the British group, however, as Aga Rangemaster posted a £4m loss before tax during the first half of this year, which it puts down to increased pension charges and professional costs associated with the proposed takeover offer. This a much bigger loss than the £300,000 recorded last year.

Nevertheless, revenues were up 1.5% compared to the first 6 months of last year, with £125.4m reached this year, as opposed to the £123.5m of the first half of 2014. Operating profits were also up 16.7% over the half year to £2.8m, whereas in the same period last year the group posted £2.4m.

William McGrath, chief executive at Aga Rangemaster said: “Our product investment programmes have ensured we are ready to benefit from the improving trading backcloth. Working with Middleby should provide additional momentum to enable our operations to thrive.”

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