Welbilt jumps 40% after Middleby announces it will acquire the foodservice equipment company for $2.9 billion

Wall Street
Chinese career agencies promise to help students land top-tier internships

Welbilt jumped as much as 40% on Wednesday after The Middleby Corporation announced it will acquire the Florida-based foodservice equipment company in a $2.9 billion all-stock deal.

Welbilt shareholders will receive a fixed exchange ratio of 0.1240x shares of Middleby common stock for each share of Welbilt in the deal which is expected to close in late 2021.

The offer price represents a 28% premium to Welbilt’s 30-day volume-weighted average price.

Both companies’ boards have unanimously approved the transaction with Carl Icahn, Welbilt’s largest shareholder with an 8.4% position, entering into a support agreement in favor of the transaction.

“Today’s announcement represents a milestone event for Middleby, Welbilt, and the Commercial Foodservice Equipment industry,” Timothy Fitzgerald, Middleby’s CEO, said of the acquisition.

“The combination of our two great companies creates a leading player with a comprehensive product line, global footprint, and advanced technologies and solutions that are well-positioned to serve our rapidly changing customer needs and capitalize on emerging industry trends,” Fitzgerald added.

After the deal goes through, Middleby shareholders will own about 76% of the combined entity, with Welbilt shareholders owning the remaining 24%.

The combined company will have $3.7 billion in 2020 sales and Middleby expects $100 million of annual cost synergies associated with the transaction to be fully realized within three years.

The law firm Johnson Fistel is investigating whether the proposed deal represents adequate consideration given analysts’ projections for future earnings and revenue growth.

Welbilt stock traded up 36.60% as of 12:18 p.m. ET, while Middleby stock traded up 5.88%.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Nintendo is buying the North American studio behind ‘Luigi’s Mansion 3,’ a rare move for the 132-year-old Japanese company

Luigi's Mansion 3
“Luigi’s Mansion 3” on the Nintendo Switch has sold nearly 8 million copies since it launched on October 31, 2019.

  • In a rare move, Nintendo is outright buying a game-development studio: Next Level Games, the Canadian firm behind the smash-hit Nintendo Switch game “Luigi’s Mansion 3.”
  • Next Level Games and Nintendo have worked closely in the past, with Next Level taking on major franchises like “Punch-Out!” and “Luigi’s Mansion.” Their most recent collaboration, “Luigi’s Mansion 3,” has sold nearly 8 million copies since launch in October 2019.
  • The vast majority of Nintendo’s internal game development is handled within Japan, and it rarely buys third-party game studios. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

In a rare move for the Japanese gaming powerhouse, Nintendo is buying the game studio behind the smash-hit “Luigi’s Mansion 3” for the Nintendo Switch.

Canadian studio Next Level Games will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Nintendo on March 1 – “pending satisfaction of all relevant terms and conditions” – which Nintendo says will enable, “an anticipated improvement in development speed and quality.” 

Nintendo and Next Level Games have worked together for years, going all the way back to the Nintendo GameCube with “Super Mario Strikers” in 2005. More recently, Next Level created “Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon” for the Nintendo 3DS, and its wildly popular followup “Luigi’s Mansion 3” for the Nintendo Switch.

The latter entry has sold nearly 8 million copies since launch on October 31, 2019, according to Nintendo.

Read more: Amid a huge lawsuit against Apple and Google, video-gaming giant Epic Games just signed a nearly $100 million deal to build a massive new headquarters

Of note, Nintendo rarely purchases third-party game studios.

The last major game studio Nintendo purchased was over 10 years ago, when it bought RPG-maker Monolith Soft. Nintendo’s first-party game development is largely handled in Japan, with European and North American arms of the company serving as localization and marketing.

If the acquisition is approved, Next Level Games will become Nintendo’s second game development studio in North America – Retro Studios, based in Texas, was purchased by Nintendo back in 2002. 

Got a tip? Contact Business Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@businessinsider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

Read the original article on Business Insider