After Setback, DFA to Acquire Most of Dean Foods for $433M

Dean Foods has found buyers for substantially all of its assets, with Dairy Farmers of America taking the vast majority.

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Dean Foods

Eight days after it was announced that Dairy Farmers of America had lost out on the lead bid for the assets of bankrupt Dean Foods, the dairy production giant announced Tuesday that DFA was named the winning bidder of the vast majority of the assets after all.

Dean Foods said that following a comprehensive sales process, DFA bid of $433 million was the winner to acquire a substantial portion of its business operations.

As part of the sales process, Dean Foods also designated Prairie Farms Dairy as the winner of eight additional facilities and two distribution branches for $75 million. Other small assets have been designated to winning bidders Mana Saves McArthur (for Miami, FL facility) and Producers Dairy Foods (for Reno, NV facility), while Harmoni Inc. was picked as the winning bidder for Dean’s Uncle Matt’s business.

“Dean Foods has strong and long-standing relationships with DFA and Prairie Farms Dairy,” said Eric Beringause, president and CEO of Dean Foods. “We are pleased that through these transactions, substantially all of our processing assets will continue to operate as dairies and will be owned by our dairy farmer partners with the resources, experience and industry expertise to continue to succeed in the current market environment.

Previously, DFA announced Feb. 17 that an agreement had been reached with Dean Foods for DFA to become the lead bidder to acquire a substantial portion of Dean Foods for $425 million.

All agreements are subject to court approval and other closing conditions, and a hearing to seek required court approvals is set for Friday, April 3. Pending approval, the transactions are expected to close at the end of April.

“We are committed to completing these transactions as quickly as possible, and to ensuring a smooth transition for our customers,” Beringause said. “I want to thank all Dean Foods employees for their continued commitment to our customers and our company throughout this process. I know we can count on them to continue to deliver the high-quality dairy products our customers rely on as we work to close these transactions.”

Separately, Dean Foods announced Wednesday that Industrial Realty Group will buy Dean’s Meadow Gold Hawaii operations as an ongoing business. Subject to approval, IRG will acquire the assets, rights, interests and properties relating to Dean Foods’ Hilo and Honolulu facilities. IRG will partner with Hawaii-based 8 Cow Dairies to manage those operations.

Headquartered in Dallas, TX, the Dean Foods portfolio includes brands DairyPure, TruMoo, Alta Dena, Berkeley Farms, Country Fresh, Dean's, Friendly's, Garelick Farms, LAND O LAKES milk and cultured products, Lehigh Valley Dairy Farms, Mayfield, McArthur, Meadow Gold, Oak Farms, PET, T.G. Lee, Tuscan and others. Dean Foods also has a joint venture with Organic Valley to distribute fresh organic products to local retailers. In all, Dean Foods has more than 50 national, regional and local dairy brands as well as private labels. The company has approximately 15,000 employees across the country.

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