The Middleby Corporation to Acquire Welbilt, Inc.
The Middleby Corporation (NASDAQ: MIDD) and Welbilt, Inc. (NYSE: WBT) have entered into a definitive agreement under which Middleby will acquire Welbilt in an all-stock transaction, enhancing the Middleby Commercial Foodservice platform with an attractive portfolio of products, brands and technologies. This transaction will bring together two complementary businesses, accelerate the Middleby growth strategy into key markets globally and increase core capabilities in highly attractive segments.
The combined company will have approximately $3.7 billion in combined 2020 sales, 73% of which will come from the Commercial Foodservice segment. With a strong balance sheet and robust cash generation, Middleby will be well positioned and capitalized to support significant R&D and future acquisition opportunities. Middleby has a long track record of successfully integrating businesses, having completed over 20 acquisitions since 2018, and has a history of driving efficiencies in acquired companies.
Compelling Strategic Rationale
- Creates a broad Commercial Foodservice Equipment platform with enhanced ability to serve customers through a combination of distinct but complementary portfolios with leading brands and broad geographic footprint
- Strengthens customer value proposition across hot-side, cold-side, beverage, technology and aftermarket support services across the globe
- Transaction accelerates R&D and investment into the value-added technologies and services of the future, including ventless cooking, controls, automation and connectivity
- $100 million of anticipated annual cost synergies associated with the transaction to be fully realized by year three, with additional potential from cross-selling opportunities and greater product development not yet quantified; Welbilt stand-alone Business Transformation Program annual improvement of $20 million is incremental
- All-stock transaction maintains the Middleby balance sheet flexibility, with significant expected combined free cash flow to support and grow the business
- Expected net leverage at close of ~3.0x, to be reduced to approximately ~2.0x by the end of 2022
- A landmark transaction in the Middleby long-standing strategy of acquiring, integrating and operating complementary and synergistic businesses
“Today’s announcement represents a milestone event for Middleby, Welbilt and the Commercial Foodservice Equipment industry. The combination of our two great companies creates a leading player with a comprehensive product line, global footprint and advanced technologies and solutions that are well positioned to serve our rapidly changing customer needs and capitalize on emerging industry trends. The acquisition of Welbilt is a transformational opportunity for Middleby and a compelling combination that will benefit all of our stakeholders,” said Middleby CEO Timothy FitzGerald. “We are excited to welcome the Welbilt team and we will benefit from the highly talented group they have assembled.”