The Middleby Corp., Elgin, Ill., entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Taylor Co., Rockton, Ill., from UTC Climate, Controls & Security, a unit of United Technologies, Farmington, Conn., for $1 billion.

Taylor provides beverage solutions, soft serve and ice cream dispensing equipment, frozen drink machines and automated double-sided grills.

“The acquisition of Taylor is highly strategic for Middleby, and bolsters Middleby’s overall position as an industry leader in commercial foodservice,” says Selim Bassoul, chairman and CEO. “Taylor is a unique and premium brand in the commercial foodservice industry with leading positions in beverage, frozen dessert and grilling that are highly complementary to our existing offerings. Taylor products are well represented across the top restaurant chains and have significant presence across all foodservice segments, including quick serve, casual dining, retail, convenience stores and institutional foodservice establishments. The acquisition further deepens our presence in these categories and with existing customers for new offerings in the kitchen.

“Taylor provides a leading platform to continue to build our portfolio of beverage solutions, complementing our existing brands and technologies in this product category. We believe Taylor is well positioned for growth, as customers continue to invest in and expand their beverage offerings. Additionally, there are significant technology synergies amongst Taylor and our existing related businesses, which should further add to the growth opportunities in this category.”

“The Taylor automated double-sided grill expands our cooking lineup with an advanced technology that provides customers with a specialized solution addressing labor savings, food safety and superior cooking performance. This acquisition enhances Middleby’s existing capabilities in automated cooking solutions and adds a critical technology as we further develop our portfolio of automated cooking solutions.”

“We are very excited to have the Taylor management team and employees join the Middleby group of companies. The Taylor leadership team has deep industry experience and is highly respected by customers. This team has guided the company to strong levels of profitability and consistent financial performance over many years. We look forward to having them continue to lead the Taylor business, which will continue to operate from its existing facilities in Rockton, Ill.”