Wenner Bread Products, a commercial bakery and frozen dough maker long based in Bayport, has major new financial backing -- and a new chief executive -- from a Chicago investment firm.
The recapitalization deal, which puts significant ownership of the company in the Chicago firm's hands, was first reported in two trade publications, Baking Business and Modern Baking, and is confirmed on the website of the investment firm, Frontenac Co.
Frontenac and Wenner said in the trade publication reports that they hope to see the baking company's business expand far beyond Long Island. The new chief executive, a former president of Kellogg's, is Jeff Montie.
Wenner did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday on whether the transaction would affect its Long Island workforce or its network of customers. No financial details of the deal were disclosed.
Frontenac said Wenner, "a leading producer of breads and rolls sold to in-store bakery and foodservice customers. . . [and] a family business with roots going back to the 1950s, . . . is respected for its high quality and diverse product offering."
The trade publications reported that the Wenner family retains "significant ownership" of the company.
Newsday reported in May that Wenner "scrapped plans to move to North Carolina in favor of combining operations and preserving 466 jobs."
The Newsday report said Wenner "will spend $3.3 million on new equipment and renovations to its Ronkonkoma plant. That factory will eventually house work now done in four buildings in Bayport, which will be sold to fund a portion of the modernization project."
Photo: Wenner Bread Products chief executive Richard Wenner, fourth from left, and David Wayne Drake, director of bakery operations, watch as finishers coat garlic knots. (May 17, 2011)
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