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Private equity group acquires Schmidt Bakery

Independent private equity group Argos Wityu acquires the majority stake in the East Westphalian market leader Karl Schmidt GmbH, from Odewald KMU, for an undisclosed amount. The management will continue to run the company, with managing partner Martin Manski increasing his share as a result of the transaction.

Karl Schmidt GmbH currently operates 73 branches of the Schmidt bakery brand in North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony. In addition to classic bakery branches, Schmidt Bakery focuses on shops with all-day catering. Argos Wityu aims to double the number of branches in the next five years, through new openings and acquisitions. Previous owner Odewald KMU is exiting its investment after seven years

Karl Schmidt GmbH looks back on a history of over 130 years. After four generations as a family business, the group was acquired by Odewald KMU in 2017 as part of a succession plan. With around 720 employees and 73 branches in attractive locations, Schmidt Bakery is the market leader in the East Westphalia region. In addition to classic bakery branches, the company operates catering concepts of various sizes – from smaller cafés to branches under the name ‘Brothaus’ with more than 50 seats – with all-day offers.

Martin Manski, managing partner of Karl Schmidt GmbH: “We would like to thank Odewald KMU for the very good partnership over the past few years and are pleased to have found such a suitable owner in Argos Wityu. The team shares our understanding that customers enjoy being in a nice atmosphere – not just to buy bread, but to relax, have lunch and have coffee. We would like to expand the offering together and continue to improve the customer experience.”

Rainer Derix, partner at Argos Wityu in Germany: “Bäckerei Schmidt is a successful, traditional company that fits us and our values very well. We are pleased that the management remains invested with us and in the cooperation with the employees, who are valued by customers for their special friendliness. We will bring our extensive experience in the food and consumer goods sector and many years of expertise with buy-and-build strategies to support the bakery group’s further expansion. The main plans are to open additional branches, including in new regions, and make acquisitions, as well as an associated increase in production.”

Bakery market consolidation in Germany

The German bakery market is rapidly changing, yet still very fragmented: according to the Central Association of the German Bakery Trade, annual sales in the bakery trade rose from EUR 14.3 billion to EUR 17.5 billion between 2016 and 2023. At the same time, the number of companies decreased from 11,737 to 9,242.


Photos: Karl Schmidt GmbH