AGA Cooker Maker In Talks About US Takeover

The cast-iron cooker maker Aga Rangemaster has confirmed it is in talks about a possible takeover by a US kitchen equipment firm.

Aga cooker maker in talks about US takeoverThe cast-iron cooker maker Aga Rangemaster has confirmed it is in talks about a possible takeover by a US kitchen equipment firm. The group, which is based in Leamington Spa, and has been manufacturing its stoves in Coalbrookdale, Shropshire, since 1930, said it was in discussions with the Middleby Corporation. Shares in the company rose by 35% following the news. Middleby said talks were at a "very early stage".

Aga Rangemaster said there was no certainty of any formal offer. In January, it appointed financial adviser Rothschild to explore options for the company. In 2014 Aga said its profits had fallen, mainly because of pension costs, shop closures and site rationalisation. However, it said markets for its appliances had strengthened at the start of the year.

The group, which also owns the Fired Earth tiles brand, recently began sales in China after spending more than two years gaining the right accreditations. It launched formally in Beijing in March. David Bailey, professor of industry at Aston University in Birmingham, said Aga Rangemaster was a "really iconic British brand However, it does have an increasing market share in the US," he said.

"As with every foreign investment, it could bring benefits to the company. The flip side is that, if this goes ahead, will decisions be made in the US? Will they keep manufacturing in Britain?"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-coventry-warwickshire-33181844

 

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