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Whirlpool Bids for Maytag

It offers $17 a share for the appliance maker.
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The bidding war for



continues to spin, with rival


(WHR) - Get Whirlpool Corporation Report

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stepping into the fray.

Late Sunday, Whirlpool proposed buying its longtime rival for stock and cash worth about $1.4 billion, or $17 a share. The offer ostensibly tops two existing proposals to take the company private, one from a group including Bain and Blackstone Group and one from Ripplewood Holdings.

The Bain/Blackstone group offered to acquire Maytag in mid-May for $1.28 billion, or $16 a share. One day earlier, Maytag agreed to a proposal from Ripplewood valued at $1.13 billion, or $14 a share.

Whirlpool, which put the total value of its offer at $2.3 billion including debt assumption, said its proposal represents superior value and, "equally important, the combination fits Whirlpool's strategy and capabilities,

and will create strong value for our shareholders and provide direct benefits to consumers and trade customers."

Whirlpool also affirmed its 2005 earnings guidance of $5.90 to $6.10 a share and said it expects to generate cash from operating activities of about $860 million.