Welbilt, which is based in Florida, makes food-service equipment.
Updated May 28, 2021 7:17 pm ET
which agreed to sell itself in a $2.9 billion deal last month, has received a topping bid valuing the food-service-equipment maker at around $3.3 billion.
Italy’s Ali Group said Friday it made an all-cash offer to buy the company for $23 a share on May 25. The Wall Street Journal reported on the bid earlier Friday, sending Welbilt’s shares up over 20% in midday trading.
Welbilt agreed in April to sell itself to rival
for 0.1240 Middleby share for each Welbilt share, an offer that at the time was worth around $20.69 a share.
Florida-based Welbilt’s shares closed Friday at $24.71.
Middleby said its all-stock deal is superior to Ali Group’s bid because it allows Welbilt shareholders to benefit from the combined company’s future growth.
Ali Group, which also makes food-service equipment and operates globally, was founded in 1963 and is privately held.
One of Welbilt’s largest shareholders is
who holds a roughly 7.5% stake. Mr. Icahn has a representative on its board and had agreed to vote in favor of the Middleby deal.
Topping bids have been a common occurrence so far this year, as companies flush with cash and strong stock prices go shopping for targets sometimes beaten down amid market volatility.
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Appeared in the May 29, 2021, print edition as ‘Italian Suitor Makes Rival Bid Of $3.3 Billion for Welbilt.’