CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As private capital continues to enter the real estate markets, the Creamery chain attracted hundreds of interested bidders and a sell-out of all locations, brand name, intellectual property and real estate at auction.
“It has been a good time for private owners to bring their business to the market, to either sell all stock or raise cash by selling interest in the company,” according to Frank Diliberto, president, Diliberto Real Estate and Real Estate Auctions, LLC, responsible for the Creamery operations auction. “Investors in long-term positions with conservative money are seeking better returns, and the capital markets and economy have pointed them to this type of business opportunity,” he added.
But the type of investors competing these days is not the usual. While inquiries were generated from coast to coast, including chains such as Oberweis and yogurt and ice cream chains, it came as no surprise to the auction firm that the unusual investors for a restaurant chain were in the largest numbers. Private investors, real estate companies, physician groups and industrial companies were among the contenders.
William A. McEnery, son of William J. McEnery, one of Chicago’s most well-known entrepreneurs, and former Gas City owner, directed the auction in early spring to allow his transition into an investment banking position.
Never before on the market, seven locations were placed into the bidding process, leading to the sale of all seven properties, name and branding rights, inventories, websites and a 25-year Creamery customer base, along with Creamery Ice Cream Trucks which offer separate revenue operations.
Among the buyers, a family member of the first Dairy Queen owner won the bid for Monee. A private investment and real estate group, prevailed with three locations; Homer Glen, New Lenox and Manhattan. These were acquired to strategically support their local real estate investments. And a southwest suburban family won the bid on Mokena, Orland Hills and the original Creamery store located in Frankfort, IL on Nebraska Street.
Jodi McCarthy and Jillian Hersted took on operations along with their father, David Ciarlette, head of a local CPA firm. The original Frankfort location was opened in 1981.