THE JOBS of workers at Aga Rangemaster appear safe following the takeover by an American company.
Middleby Corporation has confirmed a deal valued at £129million and bosses of the llinois-based company say they plan to continue manufacturing in Britain.
With a history stretching back over 200 years in Leamington, shares in Rangemaster rocketed by 35 per cent when a deal was first muted in June.
Middleby bosses stressed they would not be moving production away from the UK and they recognised the quintessentially British presence the company and its products had.
The historic Eagle Foundry has long been a major employer in the town and currently employs some 500 people in the manufacture of the iconic cast iron cookers which are a favourite of many including celebrity chefs like Delia Smith and Marco Pierre White.
But despite their popularity there was a fall in profits last year, although an upturn was reported earlier this year when the company also celebrated the one millionth range cooker rolling off the production line.
It is hoped the deal will help increase sales of the Aga brands in North America, while the British firm would offer Middleby a foot-in-the-door to European markets. Aga has also begun selling in China this year.
In the past three years the company has also invested some £3million in Leamington creating a new state of the art design and production centre.
Aga Chief Executive, William McGrath, reassured The Observer the deal had made provisions for the pension plan and being part of a larger group would ensure its security – an issue many former employees with pensions had concerns about.
Middleby already manufacturer industrial cookers and will be looking to up production and boost sales of the Aga range.
Mr McGrath said: “Middleby are buying the heritage of Aga Rangemaster as well as the products. The fact that we have been able to reinvigorate should mean we’ll have a good run to the two millionth cooker coming off the line.”