Foodservice Equipment Reports

Middleby Corp. Acquires Viking Range For $380 Million

The waning hours of 2012 brought one last major story in the foodservice equipment business: Middleby Corp. has acquired Viking Range Corp for $380 million in cash. The deal was announced Dec. 31.

Viking, a leading maker of residential cooking ranges, ovens and kitchen appliances, has approximately $200 million in annual revenues. The brand also has a small commercial division. The company is headquartered in Greenwood, Miss.

“This acquisition strategically positions Middleby as a leading manufacturer in the sector with a top brand,” said Selim Bassoul, Middleby’s chairman and  CEO. “The acquisition of Viking allows us to integrate our own patented technologies that will have a huge appeal to consumers for their residential kitchens. These technologies include speed cooking, induction and truvection.”

Bassoul also pointed out the synergies between the current Middleby brands TurboChef, Jade and MagiKitch’n, all of which have residential platforms that will integrate well with Viking. “Together we have deep experience in the design and manufacture of ranges, ovens and cooktops, and through combined efforts we will be able to achieve meaningful cost reductions and production efficiencies, while improving the design and performance of the ranges and ovens,” Bassoul added.

“Our goal is to expand this new residential platform using the same strategy in which we have successfully developed our commercial foodservice and food processing businesses,” Bassoul continued. “This expansion would include growth through future acquisitions, new product introductions and leveraging the current Middleby global sales, service and distribution infrastructure to introduce Viking products in emerging markets.”

Fred Carl Jr., Viking’s founder, president and CEO ,  will maintain his role at the company. “I have always had a great deal of respect for Middleby, a company I’ve known well over the years, and very much look forward to becoming affiliated with an organization that has such a strong and impressive track record,” he said. “We are looking forward to launching a new product line in 2013 and excited about the great R&D and innovation Middleby brings to the Viking brand, including their truvection, induction and speed cooking technologies.”

Viking will remain headquartered in Greenwood and will maintain its current operations there. “It is our intent to help Fred and his team to continue to grow Viking right there in Mississippi where it’s been since he started the company,” Bassoul stated.

Viking becomes the 30th commercial equipment brand for the Elgin, Ill.-based company. Its brands include Anets, Beech, Blodgett, Bloomfield, Carter Hoffmann, CookTek, CTX, Doyon, Holman,  IMC, Jade, Lang, Lincat, MagiKitch'n, Middleby Marshall, Nieco, Nu-Vu, Pitco Frialator, Southbend, Star, Toastmaster, TurboChef, and Wells. The company also owns 11 food processing equipment brands.

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