Benton Harbor, Mich. — Whirlpool has upped the ante a third time in its bid to buy beleaguered majap maker Maytag.
Whirlpool has submitted a revised binding offer that raises the stakes from $20 per share, to $21 per share, or $1.72 billion, plus $977 million in assumed debt. It is believed that the new bid was designed to blunt an expected counteroffer from Ripplewood Holdings, which has a board-backed agreement to acquire Maytag for $14 a share, or $1.13 billion.
Whirlpool originally proposed paying $17 a share in an effort to scuttle the Ripplewood deal, and raised its offer to $18 a share after an initial rebuff.
After conducting due diligence, Whirlpool submitted a binding offer for $20 per share on Monday. Like that offer, the newly revised bid includes a $120 million “reverse breakup” fee for Maytag should the deal fail to pass regulatory muster, plus a $40 million kill fee to Ripplewood’s Triton acquisition group and $15 million to retain Maytag employees.
The offer expires on Aug. 20, one day after Maytag shareholders are scheduled to vote on the Ripplewood/Triton deal.