Benton Harbor, Mich. – Whirlpool has sold off most of the last remaining vestiges of Maytag, the iconic majap manufacturer it acquired last April for $1.7 billion.
The former Maytag facilities include the company’s long-time headquarters building in Newton, Iowa, plus factories in Arkansas, Illinois, South Carolina and West Virginia.
“We are pleased see the transition plans for each of the former Maytag properties,” said David L. Swift, president, Whirlpool North America. “We have been working in cooperation with business and community leaders in each of these locations to develop appropriate plans for the former Maytag properties. We believe that the sale of these properties and the resulting future reuse and redevelopment is another important step forward in the ongoing transition of each of the communities.”
Whirlpool sold the majority of the Maytag headquarters building complex to Iowa Telecom. Following the sale, some of the property will be transferred from Maytag to the Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) to be converted and used as a regional vocational training center. In the near future, Whirlpool has the option to sell the vacant Maytag manufacturing facility in downtown to the Jasper Community Foundation. Plans call for the elimination of the old buildings to improve the area with a planned green space.
Whirlpool will also lease back some of the headquarters facility through 2007 to support certain integration-related work that will continue into the second half of 2007, and will transfer the former product development building in downtown Newton and the Maytag Guest House to the Jasper Community Foundation to support long-term economic development strategies in the community.
The former Maytag manufacturing facilities located in Galesburg and Herrin, Ill.; Searcy, Ark.; Ranson, W.Va. and Newton, Iowa, have been sold together as a package to Industrial Realty Group (IRG) of Los Angeles, which specializes in the redevelopment and adaptive reuse of excess corporate real estate and manufacturing facilities.
Whirlpool will lease back the plants in Herrin and Searcy through April 2007 to ensure proper cleaning and shutdown operations occur as planned, the company said. Whirlpool also will lease back the Newton plant, as well as the adjacent manufacturing support facilities, through February 2008 to ensure proper cleaning and shutdown operations occur as planned. Whirlpool will continue to operate one of the adjacent manufacturing support facilities for up to five years to support the production of spare parts. Whirlpool previously announced that the Newton plant would close in the second half of 2007.
In Galesburg and Ranson, IRG will begin discussions with community officials and business leaders to determine possible redevelopment plans.
The former Maytag manufacturing facility in Florence, S.C., has been sold to Hackman Capital Partners, LLC of Los Angeles, a private asset-based investment firm that specializes in the acquisition of real estate and capital assets.