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With a view to strengthening its foothold in the food processing industry, Elgin, Ill.-based, The Middleby Corporation (MIDD - Analyst Report) acquired a leading baking systems manufacturer, Spooner Vicars Bakery Systems for an undisclosed amount.

Addition of Spooner Vicars Bakery’s assets will fortify Middleby’s portfolio and will enable the company to leverage benefits from Spooner Vicars’ innovative solutions and existing customer base worldwide.

Spooner Vicars Bakery Systems based in Merseyside, the United Kingdom, primarily serves the cookie and crackers industry and has annual sales of approximately $10 million. Prior to this acquisition, in Sept 2012, Middleby had acquired Stewart Systems, a leading manufacturer of baking systems for the food processing industry.

The Middleby Corporation is one of the leading commercial cooking equipment makers and its popular brands include TurboChef, Jade and MagiKitch'n. Acquisitions have proved an important mode of expansion for the company over time. Addition of Spooner Vicars and Stewart Systems enables the company to strengthen its services in the food processing industry.

The current Zacks Consensus Estimate for the fourth quarter 2012 is $1.78 while that for 2012 and 2013 are $6.26 and $7.12, respectively, reflecting year-over-year growth of 21.5% for 2012 and 13.8% for 2013.

The Middleby Corporation currently bears a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other players in the industry that are worth mentioning are Altra Holdings Inc. (AIMC - Snapshot Report) and Metso Corp. (MXCYY) with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), and Gorman-Rupp Co. (GRC - Snapshot Report) with a Zacks Rank # 2 (Buy).

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