Whirlpool Offers to Buy Maytag for $1.62B

Whirlpool Corp. (WPL) offered to buy fellow appliance maker Maytag Corp. (MYG) for $1.62 billion in cash and stock on Monday, plus assumed debt, offering a 43 percent premium to a rival bid by investment firm Triton Acquisition Holding Co (search).

Whirlpool's offer — which equals $20 per share in cash and stock — increases its tentative bid by $2 per share. The company plans to assume $977 million in debt as part of the deal, for a total transaction of $2.6 billion.

The bid comes a day ahead of a deadline agreed on by the two companies for Whirlpool to make a firm proposal.

Triton has offered $14 per share, or about $1.13 billion. Maytag shareholders are scheduled to vote on that offer at 10:30 a.m. on Aug. 19.

Whirlpool said its bid will expire at 5 p.m. on Aug. 20. The offer includes a commitment to pay a "reverse breakup fee" of $120 million if regulators do not approve the combination, along with $15 million to retain Maytag employees.

The company said it will pay 50 percent of the purchase price in cash and the remainder in stock.

Whirlpool, the country's largest appliance maker, previously had said it was planning to offer around $18 a share, or $1.43 billion.

Maytag shares rose $1.52, or 8.9 percent, to $18.50 on the New York Stock Exchange (search). The stock has traded in a range of $9.21 to $21.39 in the past 52 weeks. Shares of Whirlpool rose $2.78, or 3.5 percent, to $82.49 on the NYSE.