When Whirlpool finally acquired Maytag in a stock/cash/debt assumption transaction valued at $2.6 billion, it was some of the biggest news to hit the appliance industry. At the time, Whirlpool said it would detail its Maytag plans in approximately 60 days. Jody Lau, Whirlpool communications manager, said, “We have good relationships with all of our trade partners and we will be communicating with them directly, one-on-one, as quickly as we can.”
In the interim, retail leaders speculate how they think Whirlpool might combine the companies. Much is at stake. Whirlpool, with $14 billion in annual sales, sells products under the Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Estate, Roper, and Inglis brands. With $5 billion in annual sales, Maytag’s brands include Amana, Admiral, Performa, Jenn-Air, and Magic Chef. In its anti-trust review of the deal, the U.S. Department of Justice also noted that Maytag and Whirlpool (along with GE, Electrolux, LG, and Bosch) also make appliances for Sears sold under the Kenmore brand name.
Whirlpool is the top-selling appliance brand within The Nationwide Marketing Group, followed closely by Maytag. Nationwide Director Ed Kelly reports, “There’s a lot of loyalty out there with Maytag. We have dealers who have been handling Maytag for 50 years.”