Middleby Buys Stephens-owned Viking Range

by Roby Brock (roby@talkbusiness.net) 13 views 

Viking Range Corp., owned in part by members of the Stephens family, has been sold to Middleby Corporation of Elgin, Illinois for an undisclosed sum.

Viking, based in Greenwood, Mississippi, is one of the premiere manufacturers of professional category appliances, a segment of the residential major appliance industry it created in 1987 when it introduced the first Viking range.

Publicly-traded Middleby is a leading producer of commercial cooking and food processing and packaging equipment for the foodservice industry.  With more than 30 brands, Middleby manufacturers, sells, distributes and services its products worldwide.

The Stephens family acquired its position with Viking in 1992.

“I am excited about the future of Viking as it becomes a part of the Middleby Corporation. I have always had a great deal of respect for Middleby, a company I’ve known well over the years, and very much look forward to becoming affiliated with an organization that has such a strong and impressive track record,” said Fred Carl, founder of Viking Range. “We are looking forward to launching a new product line in 2013 and excited about the great R&D and innovation Middleby brings to the Viking brand, including their truvection, induction and speed cooking technologies.”

The company will remain headquartered in Greenwood, according to a company release.

“We are delighted to add Viking Range Corporation to our portfolio of highly respected companies,” said Selim A. Bassoul, Chairman and CEO of The Middleby Corporation.  “As our entry into the residential appliance industry, we see many synergies and growth opportunities between Viking and our existing business units.  We hope to aggressively grow and expand the Viking brand and add to their product offerings for the residential market.”

Stephens Inc. served as financial advisors to Viking in the transaction.