The merger process between Ali Group and Welbilt has taken a further turn, with the US Department of Justice raising concerns about the deal.
Welbilt and Ali Group submitted regulatory filings in all required jurisdictions, including the US, UK, and EU. Subsequently they received a second request for information from the US Department of Justice, focusing on the companies’ ice brands.
Therefore the companies have decided that they will proceed with divesting Welbilt’s Manitowoc Ice brand to address these concerns.
A Welbilt spokesperson stated: “We are confident that this step will ensure regulatory approval.”
The companies expect to complete the sale of Manitowoc Ice in early 2022 and then close the acquisition of Welbilt by Ali Group shortly thereafter.
Welbilt stockholders have already approved the proposal to adopt and approve the merger agreement with Ali Group, with 99.72% of shares that were voted cast in favour of the pending merger.
Ali Group’s deal is an all-cash transaction for US$24 per share, or approximately US$3.5bn in aggregate equity value and US$4.8bn in enterprise value.
The acquisition will make the merged group the largest in the world, with Welbilt’s pre-Covid turnover totalling about US$1.6bn and Ali Group’s global revenue of around US$2.4bn combining to reach US$4bn, eclipsing pre-pandemic market leader Hoshizaki’s US2.5bn.