Equipment company Aga last week agreed a £260m sale of its foodservice and bakery equipment division to Italian manufacturer Ali SpA.
The division, which includes Mono Equipment, Miller’s Vanguard, Williams Refrigeration, Falcon Foodservice and AFE Serviceline in the UK, is set to run as before with no changes to management structure.
Aga’s commercial foodservice operation employs about 3,000 staff. It is understood that all of those workers will transfer to the Italian owner. The deal is subject to shareholder approval at an extraordinary general meeting - likely to be held before Christmas.
In the financial year ended 31 December, 2006, the division made an operating profit of £21.2m on sales of £250.3m. William McGrath, chief executive of Aga, commented: "It is pleasing to agree this sale at a good price to a group that is already driving change in the foodservice equipment sector. We will now focus on developing our consumer operations and on delivering value to shareholders."
Aga plans to focus on growing the profitability of its consumer business in premium kitchen appliances, such as the Aga, Rangemaster and Marvel brands, concentrating on organic growth.
A significant proportion of the sale proceeds will be passed to shareholders, while Aga will set aside £32.5m for its pension scheme.
Privately-owned company Ali generates annual revenues of around E850m (£592.8m) and has 32 manufacturing sites in 12 countries. Operations in the UK include Barnsley-based Dawson Foodservice Equipment, which supplies dishwashers, cooking equipment, steamers and refrigeration equipment to the UK commercial catering market.