July 18, 2005

Maytag to weigh Whirlpool takeover bid

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Household appliance-maker Maytag
Corp. , which had agreed to be acquired by a buyout
group led by Ripplewood Holdings LLC, said it would weigh an
unsolicited takeover offer from Whirlpool Corp. .

Whirlpool on Sunday offered to buy Maytag, the maker of
Hoover vacuum cleaners and Amana appliances, for $1.3 billion,
topping the $1.125 billion pact with private equity firm

Whirlpool marks the third suitor for Maytag, which also has
held talks in recent weeks with a consortium led by Chinese
appliance-maker Haier Group.

Maytag said its board still backs the Ripplewood deal.

The takeover interest comes despite a decline in Maytag's
profitability, a slump at its Hoover unit, higher raw materials
prices and competition from Asian rivals with lower costs.
Maytag got slammed earlier this year when retailer Best Buy
stopped selling its washing machines and refrigerators.

In premarket trading, shares of Maytag jumped 8.7 percent
to $16.80 on the Inet electronic brokerage system.