World’s largest disposer business was sold for $3B

By Alan Wolf, YSN

Whirlpool has entered a definitive agreement to acquire the InSinkErator garbage disposer business from Emerson Electric Co. for $3 billion.

The all-cash transaction has been approved by both companies’ boards and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year, pending regulatory approvals.

Introduced in the late 1930s, InSinkErator was one of the first mass-produced garbage disposal products for home use, and went on to dominate the food waste disposal industry with its current 70-plus share of the market.

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Whirlpool plans to allow InSinkErator to continue operating as a separate business unit under the aegis of its North America Region and to maintain its current headquarters in Mount Pleasant, Wis. The appliance giant said it will capitalize on InSinkErator’s “leading consumer brand preference, an installed base that is five times larger than the rest of the industry driving a recurring sales profile, the strong underlying secular tailwinds of the U.S. housing market and the expansion of the InSinkErator brand into new markets and product offerings.”

InSinkErator is expected to generate approximately $650 million in sales for the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2022, and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of more than $170 million. Whirlpool will initially fund the acquisition through available liquidity, to be supplemented by the assumption of new debt at a later date.

“We are excited for the unique opportunity to add InSinkErator to our portfolio of leading brands,” said Whirlpool Chairman/CEO Marc Bitzer. “The acquisition is a clear accelerator of our ongoing portfolio transformation and aligned with our stated goals of investing in high-growth and high-margin businesses and Win Americas.”

He continued, “InSinkErator is not only an iconic brand with a reputation for the highest quality and performance, but also a business that is purpose-driven and shares our vision of improving life at home. We look forward to capitalizing on the significant growth opportunities we see for this business.”

Founded by architect/inventor John W. Hammes, InSinkErator flourished during the post-World War II housing boom and was acquired by Emerson Electric in 1968. By the late 1970s it was producing half of all the garbage disposal units sold worldwide, and is now the largest manufacturer of food waste disposers and instant hot water dispensers for home and commercial use on the globe.