updated 3/31/2006 2:08:23 PM ET 2006-03-31T19:08:23

Whirlpool Corp. completed its acquisition of Maytag Corp. on Friday and said it will immediately begin integrating the two appliance companies.

Maytag stockholders will get about $848 million in cash and about 9.6 million shares of Whirlpool common stock, under the previously signed agreement, which was approved by Maytag shareholders in December.

The agreement paid Maytag shareholders $10.50 in cash and 0.1193 of a share in Whirlpool stock for each share of Maytag stock held.

The value of the deal is about $2.6 billion, including the assumption of Maytag debt.

Whirlpool management will lead the combined company, which is headquartered in Benton Harbor, Mich. It said in a statement Friday that details about its Maytag plans will be released in about 60 days.

Whirlpool is scheduled to release its first quarter earnings on April 25.

“The addition of the Maytag, Jenn-Air, Amana and other brands, and the people who support those brands, will allow Whirlpool to more fully deploy our innovation capability across a wide assortment of high-quality products and services,” said Jeff M. Fettig, Whirlpool’s chairman and CEO. “The combined companies will create substantial benefits for consumers, trade customers and shareholders through continued development of innovative products, improved quality and service, and cost efficiencies.”

Maytag, founded in Newton, Iowa, in 1893, officially ceased to exist as a stand-alone company and became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Whirlpool, although the Maytag nameplate will continue to be sold as a Whirlpool brand.

Visitors to the Maytag Web site Friday were automatically forwarded to the Whirlpool corporate site.

With completion of the merger, Whirlpool has annual sales exceeding $19 billion and more than 80,000 employees in 60 manufacturing plants and technology centers.

The company markets Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Bauknecht and other major brand names to consumers in nearly every country around the world.

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