Oberweis Dairy finds a buyer

The principal of another Illinois food manufacturer has offered to buy the chain of ice cream shops and its sister businesses.
A deal was struck about a week after Oberweis filed for bankruptcy protection. | Photo: Shutterstock

The bankrupt parent of the Oberweis Dairy ice cream chain said Tuesday that the principal of a rival food manufacturer has come forward with an offer to buy the 40-unit operation and its sister businesses.

The amount of the bid and other details of the offer were not disclosed.

The purchase proposal came from Brian Boomsma, who operates the Dutch Farms grocery supplier with his brother Bruce. Dutch Farms wholesales a wide variety of products, from pizza to Polish ham to eggs. Like Oberweis Dairy Inc., it is based in Illinois.

Oberweis indicated in disclosing the offer via its website that  Boomsma intends to grow the ice cream business.

“We are thrilled to have a business leader like Brian Boomsma interested in investing in Oberweis and enabling the company to continue to move forward and prosper,” Oberweis President Adam Kraber said in the posted announcement of the deal.

Boomsma will serve as a stalking-horse bidder, according to Kraber. That designation means the offer sets the floor for any subsequent bidding. If a higher offer should be tendered, Oberweis will pay whatever expenses Boomsma may have occurred in setting a market value for the ice cream business.

The deal is subject to the approval of the bankruptcy court overseeing Oberweis’ reorganization, Kraber noted. He projected that the 97-year-old company will likely emerge from bankruptcy in June.

Oberweis filed for protection from creditors about a week ago. Kraber said in the court documents that the company ran into trouble through a combination of mismanagement and changes in consumer tastes.

It had agreed to be acquired months ago, but the suitor backed out in March, Oberweis said in its filing.

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