Winnetka, News

Winnetka firm wins competition for Oberweis Dairy

Winnetka-based Hoffmann Family of Companies announced on Wednesday its intent to acquire Oberweis Dairy, the iconic brand founded in Illinois.

The private equity firm also said in a media release that it plans to make significant investments in Oberweis, with plans to enhance production capabilities and streamline operations at the Aurora plant in particular.

“We are thrilled to write the next chapter of the company’s story with the wonderful employees at Oberweis Dairy,” said Geoff Hoffmann, co-CEO of Hoffmann Family of Companies. “Their dedication and passion for delivering exceptional dairy products align perfectly with our values.”

The terms of the acquisition agreement have not yet been disclosed, and it is subject to approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

Oberweis Dairy, which began in Aurora, Illinois, in 1927 selling milk, delivers its products — including its trademark milk in glass jars — direct to thousands of homes, operates 48 ice cream and dairy stores, and distributes to grocery stores. On April 12, the North Aurora-based company filed for Chapter 11 protections through the Northern District of Illinois in order to “seek debt relief” and position the company for a sale, according to a company statement.

In its filing, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, Oberweis owes more than $4 million to its top 20 creditors, which include Cook County ($173,000).

Hoffman made a bid in competition with “stalking horse” bidder Brian Boomsma, owner of Chicago’s Dutch Farms. A stalking horse bidder is an entity of the bankrupt company’s choosing that makes an initial bid on the company’s assets, setting a purchase floor for all remaining bidders.

The Hoffmann Family of Companies has a history of investing in multi-generational, family-owned businesses and according to the release believes that Oberweis is a well-positioned company with a strong brand history and commitment to service.

Hoffmann’s founder, David Hoffmann, reportedly grew up on a farm in Washington, Missouri, and delivered milk before school. David Hoffmann launched his first company in 1989 and grew a family enterprise that has since acquired more than 200 companies that employ 9,000 individuals worldwide.

“Our exceptional product set, accompanied by a brand that stands for quality that is second to none, is the foundation for our team members and company to write its next chapter,” said Adam Kraber, President of Oberweis Dairy in the release. “We look forward to exciting developments ahead with Hoffmann Family of Companies.”

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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