Viking Range acquired

The Middleby Corp. has purchased Viking Range Corp. for $380 million in cash. Headquartered in Greenwood, Miss., Viking is a leading manufacturer of high-end residential cooking ranges, ovens and kitchen appliances. Annual revenues are approximately $200 million

“This acquisition strategically positions Middleby as a leading manufacturer in the sector with a top brand,” said Selim Bassoul, chairman and CEO of the Middleby Corp. “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.”

The current Middleby brands TurboChef, Jade and MagiKitch’n all have residential platforms that will integrate well with Viking, according to Bassoul. “We are combining leading commercial cooking companies with a leading residential cooking company. We are so excited to take what we’ve learned from the professional chef and bring it to the residential chef,” he continued.

“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.”

Viking was owned by the Stephens Group, a private equity firm.

On a Jan. 2 conference call with investors, Bassoul also discussed domestic growth in the sales of luxury ranges, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

“We believe that the U.S. housing market is now really growing,” Bassoul said. That growth, plus kitchen renovations, should spur sales of professional style cooking equipment, he added. Viking ranges start around $3,000 and can sell as high as $8.000.

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