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Naples-based Hoffmann wins auction to buy famed Oberweis Dairy

  • By Louis Llovio
  • | 4:05 p.m. May 29, 2024
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
Oberweis Dairy has stores in the Chicago area.
Oberweis Dairy has stores in the Chicago area.
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The Hoffmann Family of Cos., the Naples-based business conglomerate, has won an auction to purchase a suburban Chicago dairy company that filed for bankruptcy last month.

Hoffmann, in a statement released Wednesday afternoon, says its investment arm Osprey Capital was the winning bidder in an auction for Oberweis Dairy.

The terms of the deal were not released, and a bankruptcy judge still needs to approve the sale, the statement says.

As of 3 p.m. Wednesday, the sale nor the auction appeared on the federal court system’s website. And the six attorneys representing Oberweis did not respond to a request for confirmation or questions about what happens next.

The Chicago Tribune reported the sale as well. According to the Tribune, Osprey Capital outbid Chicago-based Dutch Farms, which had made a $20 million stalking horse bid in April for Oberweis.

The nearly 100-year-old Oberweis Dairy filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy April 13, with $4 million in debts to at least 20 creditors, court records show.

The company, founded in 1927, also announced at the time plans to lay off some 127 people, according to a letter it sent to Illinois officials.

Oberweis Dairy, according to a Hoffmann statement when it announced its intention to bid on the company, operates a dairy home delivery service across parts of the Midwest and Texas, a chain of corporate- and franchise-owned dairy and ice cream stores in the Chicago area, a distribution service to regional supermarkets and high-end fast-food hamburger restaurants named the Burger Joint.

Hoffmann called the decision to buy the company a “strategic move (that) expands the Hoffmann Family of Companies’ portfolio and reaffirms its commitment to quality and growth.”

The company says in the statement that it plans to invest in Oberweis, in particular a plant in Aurora to improve its production capabilities and streamline operations.

Hoffmann will also have management nearby. Osprey's address, according to its website, is in the Chicago suburb of Winnetka, Illinois.

The purchase is a way for Hoffmann to return to its roots.

Company founder David Hoffmann spent his early years on a dairy farm in Washington, Missouri.

The Hoffmann Family of Cos. made its debut in Naples in 2015 with a $75 million purchase of seven properties and a parking lot. It had four employees at the time. The family were long-time entrepreneurs and business owners who moved to the city from their homes in Illinois and Colorado.

Today, the Hoffmann Cos. owns more than 100 national brands and employs 9,000 employees with businesses located in 30 countries, according to the statement.



Louis Llovio

Louis Llovio is the deputy managing editor at the Business Observer. Before going to work at the Observer, the longtime business writer worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Maryland Daily Record and for the Baltimore Sun Media Group. He lives in Tampa.

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