Amana Microwave (f/k/a: Litton Microwave and Menumaster)

Situation: In a strategic shift, Litton Industries sought to split itself into separate military and commercial companies. Its defense related businesses remained under the Litton Industries flag and its commercial companies (primarily oilfield services, ship building and assembly line technologies) were spunoff as Western Atlas, Inc. To position itself to do so, Litton needed to sell-off its non-core businesses, one of which was Menumaster.

Outcome: Amana purchased Menumaster from Litton Industries.

Role: The Belét Group arranged for the sale and oversaw its transition – duration: 2 years

State of Affairs: Menumaster had rebounded from its restructuring and become a robust global leader in commercial microwave cooking technology and commanded the dominant share of the market in 35 different countries across the globe. Amana was a significant player in North American commercial and consumer microwave market, but it had no international presence with exception to a Canada and a small UK distributorship. The match made sense.

To effect the transaction, certain delicate matters required looking after:


  1. Amana sought to strategically maintain stability of certain international distributorships and operations, but abandon others. Amana had little to no experience in the various nuances of conducting business in the various international venues; hence, The Belét Group oversaw these transitions.
    Result: Over the course of time, the desired relationships were smoothly transferred and market share successfully preserved.
  2. Amana sought to physically merge Menumaster's operations into its Iowa facilities; hence, shuttering Menumaster's facilities and terminating the majority of its employees, yet maintain others it deemed essential. The Belét Group oversaw these matters.
    Result: Operations were smoothly transitioned without incident and affected employees were resituated to comparable or better opportunities within the community.
  3. Amana had a 'philosophically' different technology base and product development platform than did Menumaster. However, Amana understood the necessity of preserving Menumaster's unique base and platform. To do so, certain key engineers, product development managers need to be retained and relocated. The Belét Group acted as intermediary.
    Result: Mixed. Not all key employees would embrace the transition.
  4. The purchase price was predicated on the successful collection of certain international accounts receivable. The Belét Group oversaw these activities.
    Result: All receivables were successfully collected.
  5. Grand Result: The sale transition was successfully executed with exception to the relocation of certain key employees, the impact of which is open to supposition.

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