Manitowoc Foodservice, one of Tampa Bay‘s largest public companies, changes name to Welbilt

A large, public Florida spinoff of a crane and foodservice corporation named for its hometown in Wisconsin will rebrand itself with a simpler name.

Manitowoc Foodservice, Inc., headquartered in New Port Richey, said Monday it will start calling itself Welbilt, Inc. The ticker symbol will change to WBT on the New York Stock Exchange on March 6, and stop trading under its current symbol MFS.

Former parent company, The Manitowoc Co. based in Manitowoc, Wis., spun off the food service business as a separate publicly traded company in March 2016.

The creation of a new company in New Port Richey immediately made Manitowoc Foodservice one of the ten largest publicly traded corporations in the Tampa Bay metro area.

"We are excited to announce the changing of our name to Welbilt, Inc., which further strengthens our corporate identity as a stand-alone company," CEO Hubertus M. Muehlhaeuser stated. "Welbilt reflects our promise and commitment to bringing innovation to the table."

The name change also makes it easier for investors to recognize the company as an independent business and pronounce the company‘s name. The origin of the name Manitowoc is from the native American language of people who lived in the Wisconsin area.

Muehlhaeuser said the name Welbilt helps support the company‘s main goal of "offering a complete solution for the entire kitchen with high-quality products supported by excellent service that help our customers‘ kitchens reach their full potential."

The company‘s stock, which began trading last March at $13.51 a share, has steadily gained value over the past 11 months. Its shares closed Monday at $18.84 apiece, down nearly 3 percent.