Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Companies Today

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Companies Today

Article excerpt

AGA SAGA HEATS UP Upmarket cooker firm Aga Rangemaster is at the centre of a takeover tussle after revealing US electronic appliances giant Whirlpool was considering a bid to rival Middleby's PS129m offer.

The maker of the distinctive cast-iron ovens said it was in talks with Whirlpool over a possible offer after receiving an approach and has opened its books to the suitor.

Shares in Aga surged by as much as 12% on hopes of a higher bid.

Whirlpool's move to gatecrash the Middleby takeover comes just a week before Aga shareholders are due to vote on the deal, with Aga set to officially seal the takeover on September 16.

But Aga said it was still backing the 185p-a-share offer made by American kitchen equipment firm Middleby in July in the absence of any firm bid from Whirlpool.

Whirlpool - which makes around $20bn in sales a year, employs 100,000 staff and has 70 manufacturing and research centres worldwide - confirmed its takeover interest in Aga, although it stressed "there can be no certainty that a formal offer will be made or as to the terms of any offer". …

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