Whirlpool officials began taking a closer look at Maytag books yesterday as the two appliance companies took the initial steps toward a...

Share story

DES MOINES, Iowa — Whirlpool officials began taking a closer look at Maytag books yesterday as the two appliance companies took the initial steps toward a deal that would combine their businesses.

Whirlpool boosted its offer for the Iowa appliance maker by $1 per share Friday to $18 a share, or about $1.43 billion.

In a statement yesterday, Whirlpool said it had entered into a mutual-confidentiality agreement with Maytag, allowing its accountants to examine Maytag’s financial records in detail.

“We’ve commenced due diligence. Therefore, we’re unable to comment on our proposed acquisition at this time,” Whirlpool spokesman Steve Duthie said.

Most Read Stories

Unlimited Digital Access. $1 for 4 weeks.

Maytag spokesman John Daggett confirmed that Whirlpool officials were at the Maytag headquarters.

Whirlpool had given Maytag until Sunday evening to respond to its sweetened offer. Minutes before the deadline, Maytag officials issued a statement asking for more information from Whirlpool.

That apparently was provided earlier this week.

Maytag shares rose 6 cents to close at $16.91 yesterday. Whirlpool shares fell 59 cents to close at $79.69.

In May, Maytag accepted a buyout offer from Triton Acquisition, an investment group led by Ripplewood Holdings, for $14 per share, or about $1.13 billion.

Maytag shareholders are scheduled to vote on that offer on Aug. 19.

Maytag’s agreement with Triton stipulates that Maytag must pay a $40 million fee if it walks away from the deal.

Whirlpool CEO Jeff Fettig told Maytag officials in a letter Friday that Whirlpool would pay the fee if Maytag broke its agreement with Triton.