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Welbilt proceeds with Ali Group's revised $3.41 bln buyout offer

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REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

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July 6 (Reuters) - U.S. food-service equipment maker Welbilt Inc (WBT.N) said on Tuesday Italian rival Ali Group's revised takeover bid was superior to its existing tie-up agreement with Middleby Corp (MIDD.O) and that it plans to move ahead with the offer.

Welbilt said it notified Middleby of its intention to terminate their merger agreement.

Ali Group, which operates worldwide and supplies food-service equipment to businesses ranging from hotels to schools and supermarkets, had made an offer of $23 per share in May, but revised its bid to $24 apiece on Monday, valuing Welbilt at $3.41 billion.

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This trumps a $2.9 billion all-stock offer for Welbilt by U.S. competitor Middleby.

Ali Group and Middleby did not immediately respond to Reuters' requests for a comment outside business hours.

‎Morgan Stanley & Co LLC is serving as Welbilt's financial adviser.

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Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas and Ann Maria Shibu in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri and Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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