German company buys Naperville's Wilton Brands baking business
Dr. Oetker is an industry leader in food and beverage which includes baking products and baked goods. Both companies were family-founded and share a long heritage in baking, with a passion for the industry and the millions of consumers around the world who love to bake. The transaction is expected to close before the end of the year.
Wilton and its employees will remain headquartered in Naperville and will be run as a division within the broad portfolio of companies owned by Dr. Oetker. Sue Buchta will remain in her role as CEO in Naperville. Wilton Brands was acquired by investment funds managed by TowerBrook Capital Partners L.P. in 2009, and under Buchta's leadership has refocused the business on its baking and food core while divesting noncore businesses.
Wilton employs more than 600 people worldwide with about 400 in Naperville and Romeoville, a company spokeswoman said Monday. The company specializes in cake decorating and bakeware products and can be found in Walmart, Michaels, JoAnn, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, AC Moore, HEB and Party City. About two years ago, Wilton Brands announced that it was moving its Woodridge headquarters to Washington Pointe, an office building at 535 E. Diehl Road in Naperville.
"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."
In addition to the Dr. Oetker brand, the company owns multiple well-established baking and dessert brands in more than 35 countries across the globe.
"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," 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, benefiting 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."