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Posted: 12/23/2005 1:16:22 AM EDT


Maytag Shareholders OK Sale to Whirlpool
Thursday, December 22, 2005 7:48 PM EST
The Associated Press
By DAVID PITT

NEWTON, Iowa (AP) — Maytag Corp. shareholders on Thursday approved the company's sale to rival appliance-maker Whirlpool Corp., marking the end of independence for the iconic home appliance maker that failed to overcome cheaper competitors and a waning of its trademark image for dependability.

If authorized by the government, Whirlpool will buy Maytag, founded in 1893 by farm tool maker Fred Maytag, for about $1.79 billion in cash and stock.

The Maytag brand was a television fixture for decades in commercials featuring "Ol' Lonely," the repairman with nothing to do because the company's appliances were so dependable.

Final totals show that of 80.3 million outstanding shares, 56.13 million shares, or 69.9 percent, approved the merger. It required approval of more than 50 percent of the shares outstanding to pass. The company said 97.82 percent of voted shares approved the deal.

If the transaction is cleared by the U.S. Department of Justice early next year, Maytag shareholders will receive $21 a share, payable half in cash and half in a fraction of Whirlpool stock, depending on the value of Whirlpool shares when the deal closes.

Fred Maytag's wooden-tub washing machine was introduced in 1907. His innovative designs swept the nation and the company has remained a home-appliance leader for a century.

The vote was a grim result for longtime Maytag workers and retirees.

"I feel like I attended a funeral today," said Judy Mulbrook, of Milford, Iowa, who retired from Maytag in 2003 after 32 years. "I feel like the death happened in the past year and this is putting everything to rest."

Ed Trost, 79, of Newton, said the merger is the only future for the company. He said Maytag was slow to react to the softening appliance market and increased foreign competition.

"It's heartbreaking," said Trost, who worked for Maytag for 35 years before retiring in 1988. "You go through life thinking it's going to be here forever, but that's not materializing now."

In recent years, however, Maytag's profitability has languished as competitors outsourced parts and moved production to low-cost factories.

Maytag was slow to adopt cost-saving measures and fell behind as competitors wooed consumers away with new appliance designs and features.

Some shareholders were bitter about Maytag's declining performance.

Lonnie White, who retired from Maytag and as a UAW union representative, said managers focused on cutting costs and jobs instead of the quality and dependability traits that were the company's trademark.

"If they had concentrated on that ... we wouldn't be here today," White said.

Maytag, the nation's third-largest appliance manufacturer, became the target of a bidding battle when a New York-based investment group offered to buy the company for $1.13 billion in May.

In June, Chinese appliance-maker Haier America stepped in with a $1.28 billion offer, but it was withdrawn when Whirlpool offered $1.37 billion.

Whirlpool increased its offer three times until Maytag agreed to consider the deal.

Whirlpool, based in Benton Harbor, Mich., also will assume Maytag's debt of $977 million.

Maytag CEO Ralph Hake credited employees and loyal customers for more than a century of success for the company. He said if regulators approve the merger, Maytag as a company will cease to exist. "We have to have an ending to have a new beginning," he said.

Whirlpool CEO Jeff M. Fettig said merging the two companies will benefit consumers, trade customers and shareholders.

"We believe this transaction will result in better products, quality and service, as well as efficiencies, which will enhance our ability to succeed in the increasingly competitive global home-appliance industry," he said.

A representative of the International Association of Machinists from Chicago attended the meeting. Christina Nedrow said it's wrong that Hake will leave Maytag with more than $10 million in bonuses and benefits after poorly managing the company.

"The community lost, the shareholders lost," she said. "Every stakeholder lost — except for Ralph Hake and other top management."

The machinists' union represents line workers in Maytag factories in Iowa and Illinois.

Shares of Whirlpool rose 29 cents to close at $84.17 on the New York Stock Exchange, where Maytag shares gained 33 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $19.10
.



Looks like Dr. Frige is going to have to buy an extra roll of duct tape when all the MayTag replacement parts dry up.

Don'tcha just luv how dumbass CEO's , who have trouble figuring out how to work velcro, can come in...f*ck up an institutionalized icon for quality...and walk away with a cool $10 million in the bank?
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 1:36:30 AM EDT
I'm watching this really close. I have friends and some family that will be affected by this- no matter what the outcome.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 2:16:25 AM EDT
Every story has multiple sides. Blaming the CEO is a common union knee-jerk. Let's try to get the entire story first.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 2:25:44 AM EDT

He said if regulators approve the merger, Maytag as a company will cease to exist.

I doubt that. Ask ten people if they'd rather have a Maytag or a Whirlpool appliance, and I bet at least seven of them would say Maytag. No company is going to just throw away an image of quality that took decades of hard work and advertising to create.z
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 2:27:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By mattja:
Every story has multiple sides. Blaming the CEO is a common union knee-jerk. Let's try to get the entire story first.



ditto.

what are the chances that overpaid union workers had something to do with it?

it's easy to point the finger. life's a bitch. Suck it up and move on.

Link Posted: 12/23/2005 2:30:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By mattja:
Every story has multiple sides. Blaming the CEO is a common union knee-jerk. Let's try to get the entire story first.



When's the last time you got $10 million for screwing something up?
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 2:33:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By GoVol98:

Originally Posted By mattja:
Every story has multiple sides. Blaming the CEO is a common union knee-jerk. Let's try to get the entire story first.



When's the last time you got $10 million for screwing something up?



It doesn't matter. If it's in his employment agreement he should get it. I have seen union members strike over having to pay $5 co-payments to see a doctor. They often have health plans I can only dream of. And while I might think they are assholes for striking over $5 co-payments, if it's in their contract that there are no co-payments, then they are in their right to strike.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 4:34:09 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/23/2005 4:36:02 AM EDT by Gopher]
No company is going to just throw away an image of quality that took decades of hard work and advertising to create.z


Just ask the people who work for Southwestern Bell aka SBC. Now that the AT&T merger is complete the old company that was known as Southwestern Bell is going away and will now be known as AT&T. Talk about destroying an old and trusted name.

The FTC seems to be in on it too. When GTE and Atlantic Bell merged they ruled the new company could not use GTE or Bell in the new name. So instead of getting something like General Bell we get Verizon.

History and tradition mean nothing as long as the stock keeps giving a 25% return on investment.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 4:41:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By zoom:

He said if regulators approve the merger, Maytag as a company will cease to exist.

I doubt that. Ask ten people if they'd rather have a Maytag or a Whirlpool appliance, and I bet at least seven of them would say Maytag. No company is going to just throw away an image of quality that took decades of hard work and advertising to create.z



I'd rather have a Whirlpool, but that's just me. I have not been impressed with Maytag in recent times.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 4:43:07 AM EDT
No matter what happens they will still eat socks......

.....one at a time.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 4:53:54 AM EDT
Right after my wife and I got married we were in the market for a new washer and dryer. Of course Maytag was the first we thought of simply because of those commercials on TV. However Consumer Reports had Whirlpool ahead of Maytag in reliability, so we went with Whirlpool. Not to mention Maytag was just too expensive. Six and a half years later they are still going strong with no problems. My parents have used Whirlpool appliances since long before I came along so I felt it was a good choice.

Link Posted: 12/23/2005 4:59:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By mattja:

Originally Posted By GoVol98:

Originally Posted By mattja:
Every story has multiple sides. Blaming the CEO is a common union knee-jerk. Let's try to get the entire story first.



When's the last time you got $10 million for screwing something up?



It doesn't matter. If it's in his employment agreement he should get it. I have seen union members strike over having to pay $5 co-payments to see a doctor. They often have health plans I can only dream of. And while I might think they are assholes for striking over $5 co-payments, if it's in their contract that there are no co-payments, then they are in their right to strike.



Grocery strike?

I worked that one...For Albertsons.

Friggin ridiculous. 5 damn dollars.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 4:59:30 AM EDT
My Uncle Bob used to be a Maytag repairman, now he is a corporate pilot.


ByteTheBullet (-:
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 5:00:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By jchewie:

Originally Posted By zoom:

He said if regulators approve the merger, Maytag as a company will cease to exist.

I doubt that. Ask ten people if they'd rather have a Maytag or a Whirlpool appliance, and I bet at least seven of them would say Maytag. No company is going to just throw away an image of quality that took decades of hard work and advertising to create.z



I'd rather have a Whirlpool, but that's just me. I have not been impressed with Maytag in recent times.




I would have always looked at the best Maytags. But because of the price . . . they could not be purchased WAAAYYYYY too expensive.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 5:06:13 AM EDT
And here, ladies and gentlemen....

Is why you don't screw around in High School any more.

Those unskilled, monkey-trainable jobs on the assembly line
aren't going to be there any more.

The US is moving to an information and, tech based econemy
since cheap labor and hyper restrictive environmental laws
have made the US undesireable mass manufactureing environment.

In my line of work, I see it all the time. The closures, the stunned looks
on the faces of guys and gals that put nut "a" on bolt " b" for 30 bucks an
hour and mad bennies.

"But...but...The quality! Nobdy can make the "Widgetmaster" better than ME!"

Sorry, there, sonny Jim.

Jose in Guatemala, or Long Duck Dong in China can put a nut on a bolt faster, cheaper
and probably just as well as you.

It's given me another perspective on how hard I push my kids in school,
and the direction I give them for a career.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 5:14:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By mattja:

Originally Posted By GoVol98:

Originally Posted By mattja:
Every story has multiple sides. Blaming the CEO is a common union knee-jerk. Let's try to get the entire story first.



When's the last time you got $10 million for screwing something up?



It doesn't matter. If it's in his employment agreement he should get it. I have seen union members strike over having to pay $5 co-payments to see a doctor. They often have health plans I can only dream of. And while I might think they are assholes for striking over $5 co-payments, if it's in their contract that there are no co-payments, then they are in their right to strike.



I understand you're point about both parties follwoing a contract mutually agreed upon.

But come on!!! That has to chaff your ass!!!
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 5:27:28 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/23/2005 5:28:16 AM EDT by tnek]
My dad retired from Whirlpool in Evansville about 10 years ago and every appliance in my house I built about that time is a Whirlpool. Never AGAIN! Whirlpool has turned into one of the "socialy conscious" companies.
Man some of you guys really hate unions. I suspect that some of it is simply envy. Not all union members are the kind that screw the gas caps in new cars. Some of us are in the skilled trades. I have been to more classes on robotics,PLC's, and associated equipment including classes at the manufacturers of said equipment that I have spent as much time in a classroom over the years as a whinny ass collage kid. Im worth what I make. If need be I can find another job, maybe not making quite as much as a union shop but still more than some of you bitchers.
I almost forgot, our engineers are also in a union, electrical, mechanical, tool engineers, all of them.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 5:29:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Goonboss:
And here, ladies and gentlemen....

Is why you don't screw around in High School any more.

Those unskilled, monkey-trainable jobs on the assembly line
aren't going to be there any more.

The US is moving to an information and, tech based econemy
since cheap labor and hyper restrictive environmental laws
have made the US undesireable mass manufactureing environment.

In my line of work, I see it all the time. The closures, the stunned looks
on the faces of guys and gals that put nut "a" on bolt " b" for 30 bucks an
hour and mad bennies.

"But...but...The quality! Nobdy can make the "Widgetmaster" better than ME!"

Sorry, there, sonny Jim.

Jose in Guatemala, or Long Duck Dong in China can put a nut on a bolt faster, cheaper
and probably just as well as you.

It's given me another perspective on how hard I push my kids in school,
and the direction I give them for a career.

Link Posted: 12/23/2005 5:30:39 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/23/2005 5:37:41 AM EDT by tfod]
A union destroyed this company. I went to buy a Maytag (my other one was thirty years old and worked fine, but wanted a bigger one), and I looked at several places to find a certain model.

Long story short, I found out the reason I couldn’t find the one I wanted was because that plant was on strike. I bought another brand.

I try not to buy Chinese or union made goods.
I will not drive anything made in Detroit! I try to avoid union labor stores.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 5:33:26 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Jasba:

Originally Posted By Goonboss:
And here, ladies and gentlemen....

Is why you don't screw around in High School any more.

Those unskilled, monkey-trainable jobs on the assembly line
aren't going to be there any more.

The US is moving to an information and, tech based econemy
since cheap labor and hyper restrictive environmental laws
have made the US undesireable mass manufactureing environment.

In my line of work, I see it all the time. The closures, the stunned looks
on the faces of guys and gals that put nut "a" on bolt " b" for 30 bucks an
hour and mad bennies.

"But...but...The quality! Nobdy can make the "Widgetmaster" better than ME!"

Sorry, there, sonny Jim.

Jose in Guatemala, or Long Duck Dong in China can put a nut on a bolt faster, cheaper
and probably just as well as you.

It's given me another perspective on how hard I push my kids in school,
and the direction I give them for a career.




And I'm a prime example.

However at least I know my own expendability.

I don't make 35 bucks an hour, either
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 5:40:00 AM EDT
I'm up over 20% on Whirlpool stock so far

All our appliances are Sears Kenmore, and hence, made by Whirlpool.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 5:58:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Goonboss:
And here, ladies and gentlemen....

Is why you don't screw around in High School any more.

Those unskilled, monkey-trainable jobs on the assembly line
aren't going to be there any more.

The US is moving to an information and, tech based econemy
since cheap labor and hyper restrictive environmental laws
have made the US undesireable mass manufactureing environment.

In my line of work, I see it all the time. The closures, the stunned looks
on the faces of guys and gals that put nut "a" on bolt " b" for 30 bucks an
hour and mad bennies.

"But...but...The quality! Nobdy can make the "Widgetmaster" better than ME!"

Sorry, there, sonny Jim.

Jose in Guatemala, or Long Duck Dong in China can put a nut on a bolt faster, cheaper
and probably just as well as you.

It's given me another perspective on how hard I push my kids in school,
and the direction I give them for a career.



Well said!
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 6:02:50 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/23/2005 6:07:22 AM EDT by callgood]

Originally Posted By zoom:

He said if regulators approve the merger, Maytag as a company will cease to exist.

I doubt that. Ask ten people if they'd rather have a Maytag or a Whirlpool appliance, and I bet at least seven of them would say Maytag. No company is going to just throw away an image of quality that took decades of hard work and advertising to create.z



I'd rather have a clean running stream and two rocks than my Maytag Neptune.

Or a Kenmore. ETA- I like Kenmore- my '77 Kenmore dryer is still chuggin'
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 6:36:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Goonboss:
And here, ladies and gentlemen....

<edit>

The US is moving to an information and, tech based econemy
since cheap labor and hyper restrictive environmental laws
have made the US undesireable mass manufactureing environment.


<edit>

It's given me another perspective on how hard I push my kids in school,
and the direction I give them for a career.





Uh Sorry there Billy Bob. The IT jobs are going to Vijay Shalabah and Short Duck Dong. Outsourcing + fiber optic across the oceans = so solly, no jobee for you to workee.

Ask me how I know.
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