Berkshire Cooks a Deal With Kitchen Products Co. –

Berkshire Partners has agreed to acquire all the stock and debt of Rival Co., a publicly listed company, for a total transaction value of $290.8 million, said Kevin Callaghan, a Berkshire managing director.

The acquisition will be made as an add-on to Holmes Products Corp., a Berkshire portfolio company that produces and distributes home comfort products such as the Bionaire line of humidifiers and air purifiers. Rival makes kitchen products, including Crock Pot, the well-known brand of slow cooker pots. The company had revenue of approximately $375 million for the year ended June 30, 1998, Mr. Callaghan said. Together, the two companies should produce revenue of more than $500 million, he said.

Equity for the deal will come from the management of Holmes, from Berkshire’s $380 million Fund IV, which is almost fully invested, and from Fund V, which saw a final close on $880 million last October, Mr. Callaghan said. Holmes was acquired with equity from Fund IV. Mr. Callaghan declined to say how much equity Holmes management put into the deal.

Financing for the deal was provided by BankBoston and Lehman Brothers in the form of senior debt and “tack-on” financing attached to existing Holmes high-yield debt.