Since February 2019, the board, in consultation with its financial and legal advisors, has been reviewing strategic alternatives, including a possible sale of the company. The board has determined that the execution of its standalone operating plan under the leadership of Eric Beringause, who was appointed as president and CEO on July 29, 2019, will provide the best opportunity to enhance long-term shareholder value.
"The Board conducted a wide-ranging review of alternatives for our business and determined that the continued transformation of Dean Foods under Eric's leadership provides the best means for creating value for the Company, our shareholders and other stakeholders," said Jim L. Turner, non-executive chairman of the board.
"Eric is an industry veteran with more than three decades of transformational leadership and operational experience in the food, beverage and consumer products industries, and we are confident that his oversight of and adjustments to our operating plan will build on the current momentum and drive improved performance in the business."
Beringause said Dean Foods is the largest processor and direct-to-store distributor of fresh fluid milk and other dairy case products in the US, with an operational footprint that includes 60 manufacturing facilities across the country and a fleet of more than 5,000 trucks that distribute products in nearly all 50 states.
"With this strong foundation in place, we will move forward with an increased focus on our customers and leverage our many competitive advantages - including our portfolio of strong national brands, extensive private label capabilities, category leading position and our uncompromising commitment to quality, safety and service - to drive profitable volume,” Beringause said.
“We are also continuing to execute on our cost-savings and supply chain productivity programs, designed to enable Dean Foods to be more agile and cost-efficient in the marketplace. As we implement these initiatives, we remain focused on maintaining the highest levels of quality, service and value that our customers have come to expect and that are paramount to our success."
The company recently increased its senior secured revolving credit facility to $350m. Together with its existing $450m accounts receivable securitization facility, Dean Foods said it has flexible, low-cost access to capital that will allow it to pursue its operating plan.
The company said it intends to provide details on its strategy when it reports third quarter 2019 earnings in early November.