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Whirlpool Ups Maytag Offer To $2.6 Billion

Benton Harbor, Mich. — The courtship of Maytag continues with Whirlpool announcing this morning that it has submitted a binding offer to acquire its competitor for $20 per share, or $2.6 billion.

Triton Acqusition Holding, the investor group which first offered to buy Maytag in May, upped its offer in June to $16 a share, or $1.28 billion, and beat back an offer by Chinese-owned Haier America Trading.

Whirlpool said its offer expires at 5 p.m. on August 20, 2005, the day after the current date for a meeting of Maytag’s shareholders to vote on the Triton acquisition merger proposal.

Whirlpool’s offer includes a commitment to pay a “reverse break-up fee” of $120 million if the transaction does not close because regulatory approval is not obtained.

Jeff M. Fettig, Whirlpool’s chairman, president and CEO, said in a prepared statement, “Our binding offer reflects both the value we see in the combination of Whirlpool and Maytag and the confidence we have in the ultimate receipt of regulatory approval for the transaction.”