Leading global law firm Mayer Brown advised SME-investor Halder on its acquisition of Wback Group through a management buy-out. Wback Group, located in Bönen/Germany, is a leading producer of hamburger and hot dog buns for the fast food, food retailing and food industry segments. The transaction completes management and ownership succession for the firm’s founders. In parallel to new majority owner Halder, management will become a shareholder. The parties involved have entered a binding sales agreement for the firm’s shares.

In 2004, Wback was established in Bönen (North Rhine-Westphalia) by Peter Wendeln. The new firm started serving clients in 2005 after completing a greenfield investment for its production facility. In 2008 capacity was doubled by opening a second new plant in Leipheim (Bavaria). Wback produces two million high quality buns per day. Revenues had surpassed € 30 million in 2012, the average headcount was 131 for the year.

Matthias Geißler (Finance, Sales) and Dirk Hauer (Production, Technology) have been with Wback since the company’s beginning and are assuming overall management responsibility in addition to their existing line functions. Wback founder Peter Wendeln remains a shareholder and will support the company’s expansion plans. Growth prospects are based among others on existing clients’ commitment to additional fast food outlets and increasing new business from food retailers. Wback’s plans include an expansion of production capacity in Germany and abroad, marketing and sales will be stepped up. In 2013, the company foresees an increase of sales revenues to more than € 40 million, over the medium term, revenues are expected to double against the level attained in 2012.
Halder has been active in Germany since 1991 and has provided 35 SMEs with capital for ownership succession and growth. Mayer Brown advised Halder also in previous transactions, up to now, however, on the financing side. The firm invests from a fund with € 325 million in capital; Wback is the fund’s sixth holding.

The Mayer Brown team working on the transaction included Markus Strelow (Lead Equity & Debt, Banking & Finance), Prof. Dr. Christoph Broich (Lead, Corporate, both Frankfurt) as well as partners Dr. Marius Boewe (Corporate, Düsseldorf), Frank David Endebrock (Real Estate, Frankfurt), counsels Alexa Metzger (Banking & Finance) and Björn Vollmuth (Employment & Benefits, both Frankfurt) and associates Dr. Malte Richter, Sören Pruß (Corporate), Marc Bäumer, Benedikt Simon Kreuder, Fabian Arhelger (all Banking & Finance), Vanessa Klesy (Employment & Benefits), Gelena Yufa (Real Estate, all Frankfurt).