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Published on April 24, 2024
Chicago's Dutch Farms Casts Lifeline to Bankrupt Oberweis Dairy with Stalking Horse BidSource: Google Street View

The distressed Oberweis Dairy could have new life breathed into it after receiving not one, but two bids for its operating assets following its bankruptcy filing this month. Dutch Farms, under the helm of Chicago's own Brian Boomsma, has stepped in as a stalking horse bidder aiming to acquire nearly all of the dairy's business – a move that could retain the century-old brand renowned for its milk bottles and flavors of ice cream, sources close to the matter disclosed to the Chicago Tribune.

Mired in financial woes Oberweis Dairy with a reported $95 million in revenues last year has succumbed to the pressures of changing consumer preferences and hefty bank debts totaling approximately $14 million, this comes according to details unveiled in their April 12 bankruptcy filings, the Hoffman Family Companies also eyed the dairy's assets, ready to table a competitive offer, CBS News reported.

"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," Adam Kraber, President of Oberweis, enthused in a news release, underscoring gratitude for their customer and employee support through their financial trials, as conveyed to the Tribune.

While the threat of layoffs loomed over 127 workers at the North Aurora plant, the bid by Dutch Farms could flip the script and avert that crisis, however, if negotiations fall through and a higher offer surfaces—it would throw yet another wrench in the works to the Oberweis saga, the dairy projecting a hopeful exit from bankruptcy by late June as reported by the CBS outlet.

Oberweis Dairy's roots trace back to 1915 when it was merely milk sold off Peter Oberweis' horse-drawn wagon, but is currently helmed by his grandson, former Illinois State Sen. Jim Oberweis, a Republican, who also unsuccessfully tested the political waters several times in bids for US Senate, Governor, and Congress, the CBS affiliate detailed.

Dutch Farms, established in 1987 by brothers Brian and Bruce Boomsma, remains a family affair with its array of dairy products, including cheese, eggs, and butter. The company confirmed interest in Oberweis but has kept the lid tight on the specifics of their bid.