Middleby shares in focus

Middleby shares in focus after acquisition of baking system maker Stewart

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of food preparation equipment company The Middleby Corp. slipped Monday morning in the wake of its announcement that it had acquired Stewart Systems Global LLC, a leading manufacturer of commercial baking systems.

Middleby said the acquisition of Stewart's automated proofing and oven systems strengthens its portfolio of brands and technologies. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

CEO Selim Bassoul said the company is "highly complementary to our recent acquisitions of Auto-Bake and Baker Thermal Solutions." The deal was announced late Friday.

Middleby shares fell 49 cents to $116.94 in morning trading Monday. Its shares peaked for the past year at $122.57 last Thursday.

Middleby, which is based in Elgin, Ill., also sells commercial food-preparation equipment brands such as Beech, Blodgett, Nu-Vu, Toastmaster, TurboChef and RapidPak.

Stewart has annual revenue of about $30 million.

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