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Middleby buys cooking division of Standex

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Standex's cooking division consists of well-known brands Ultrafryer, APW Wyott, Bakers Pride and BKI

The Middleby Corporation has announced it has entered into “a definitive agreement” to acquire the Cooking Solutions Group arm of Standex International Corporation.

Standex’s cooking division consists of well-known brands Ultrafryer, APW Wyott, Bakers Pride and BKI. Last year the division posted revenues of approximately $100 million.

The transaction completion “is subject to customary closing conditions,” according to a statement from The Middleby Corporation to its investors on 27 February.

Growth opportunities

“The Standex cooking brands are well recognized and respected in the foodservice industry. This acquisition adds to the product portfolio and expands the customers and markets which Middleby serves,” said Tim FitzGerald, CEO of The Middleby Corporation.

“BKI has a strong presence in the retail segment, a market in which Middleby has historically had limited representation, providing for a complementary fit and growth opportunities within this customer segment which can extend to other Middleby products. Ultrafryer’s unique high efficiency and high capacity frying technology broadens our product offerings and expands our customer opportunity.

“The APW and Bakers Pride brands also further extend and complement our existing portfolio of cooking products, and bring a new manufacturing footprint for Middleby in Mexico to better serve Latin America.”

Based in Allen, Texas, Standex Cooking Solutions Group has six locations, the Group headquarters, three manufacturing sites and two distribution centers. Products include combination and convection ovens, fryers, ranges, food merchandisers and warmers.

The acquisition trail

Industry speculation that Standex would divest its cooking business had grown significantly since it sold its minority stake in Italian combi-oven maker, Giorik in early February.

The Middleby Corporation, meanwhile, has made a number of high-profile acquisitions over the last couple of years, with the recent purchases of EVO America Inc. in January 2019 and Taylor Company, for $1.0 billion, in May 2018, amongst a host of others.

Selim Bassoul, the longstanding leader of The Middleby Corporation during a period of sustained growth, stood down from his role as chairman, president and CEO on 19 February. Timothy FitzGerald, the company’s CFO since 2003, was named as Bassoul’s successor and a member of the board of directors, while David Brewer was promoted to executive vice president and chief operating officer.

Michael Jones