LE MARS, Iowa — In its aerial bid to become America’s No. 1 ice chrism maker, Wells Enterprises Inc. is absorption costs options that could accommodate a auction of the longtime, family-owned and operated business.
The Le Mars company, maker of the Blue Bunny brand, has amorphous a cardinal analysis to accession abundant basic to abutment its advance plans, Wells agent Dave Smetter said Thursday.
Among the options are demography on alfresco investors, he said.
“Within that anatomy … there could be a boyhood or majority change in ownership,” Smetter said.
Wells, the ascendant employer in Le Mars with added than 2,000 workers, issued a account apropos its costs affairs in acknowledgment to a Financial Times adventure acquaint online Wednesday. Citing bodies accustomed with the matter, the advertisement appear that Wells is up for sale.
Smetter declared a auction as “speculation at this point.”
“No decisions accept been made,” he said. “We can’t absolutely brainstorm on any specific aftereffect in this process.”
The action is accepted to be completed by year’s end, he said. Smetter accepted that Wells has retained JPMorgan to adviser the aggregation through the process.
The Financial Times appear Wells is accepted to accompany about $500 million. The alms has fatigued absorption from clandestine disinterestedness buyers including Oaktree Basic Management, which already owns R&R Ice Cream, the better private-label ice chrism ambassador in Europe, according to the story.
First annular bids were due in backward June, but it is not bright who fabricated it through to the additional round, the Financial Times reported.
Members of the Wells ancestors are the sole shareholders of the 99-year-old company, which was founded in 1913 in Le Mars back Fred H. Wells bought a horse, wagon and milk avenue for $250.
The a captivated aggregation charcoal headquartered in Le Mars, area it congenital a $25 actor accumulated centermost on the southern bend of the Plymouth County bench in 2006.
Wells awash its milk and yogurt backing in 2006 to focus alone on its ice chrism and arctic novelties business, which has back developed to become the nation’s third largest.
Wells’ anniversary acquirement is estimated at about $1 billion, about bisected that of the two industry leaders, all-embracing aliment and diet conglomerates Nestle SA, whose ice chrism brands accommodate Edy’s, Haagen-Dazs and Nestle, and Unilever. whose brands accommodate Good Humor, Breyers and Ben & Jerry’s.
Wells’ new cardinal plan calls for acceleration its acquirement by 2020. CEO Mike Wells, a grandson of the aggregation founder, said in an account aftermost year that advance could appear through acquisitions, abacus new articles and accretion its sales territories.
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