German food conglomerate Dr. August Oetker KG has entered into an agreement to acquire Wilton Brands, a baking, cake decorating and candy making brand, from TowerBrook Capital Partners L.P. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“The acquisition of Wilton means the expansion of our position in the large and interesting U.S. market for baking and decorating,” said Albert Christmann, chairman of the board of management of Dr. Oetker. “For American consumers, the Wilton brand has been synonymous with home baking and the creative decorating of cakes, pies and baked goods for almost 90 years. With its product portfolio and strong brand, Wilton fits well with Dr. Oetker. Wilton also is very progressively positioned in terms of the use of digital brand management. Dr. Oetker’s entire organization will benefit from this expertise.”
Founded in 1929, Wilton Brands is based in Naperville, Ill., and was acquired by investment funds managed by TowerBrook Capital Partners L.P. in 2009. Under the leadership of chief executive officer Sue Buchta, the company has refocused the business on its baking and food core while divesting non-core businesses. Following the transaction, which is expected to close by the end of the year, Wilton Brands will remain in Naperville and will be run as a division within the brand portfolio of companies owned by Dr. Oetker. Ms. Buchta will remain in her role as c.e.o.
“Wilton is passionate about bringing the love of baking and decorating to everyone, everywhere, every day through quality products that make baking and decorating fun and easy,” Ms. Buchta said. “I could not imagine a better owner for Wilton Brands. The opportunity to draw on both companies’ strengths, combined knowledge and commitment to the category will position us to innovate and grow more quickly, benefitting our customers, our retail partners and our employees. This is a proud and exciting milestone in Wilton’s 89-year history as a trusted name in baking.”
Founded in 1891, Dr. Oetker offers a broad range of more than 1,000 products in Germany and 4,000 products worldwide, spanning the categories of baking mixes, desserts, frozen pizzas and snacks.
By Monica Watrous
Source: Food Business News
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