DFA is no longer confirmed to purchase Dean Foods

By Beth Newhart contact

- Last updated on GMT

DFA is re-evaluating its options to submit another bid by the deadline.
DFA is re-evaluating its options to submit another bid by the deadline.

Related tags: Dean foods, Dfa, Dairy farmers, Milk production, Bankruptcy

Though it was announced last month that Dean Foods and the Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) entered into an asset purchase agreement, that has been mutually terminated. The co-op is still in the running but is no longer the ‘stalking horse’ bidder.

In mid-February, Dean Foods said that DFA would acquire a substantial portion of Dean Foods’ business operations for $425m. But Bloomberg was first to report last week that documents filed with the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas in Houston have nixed the deal.

DFA has been a frontrunner for the sale since Dean Foods first announced it was filing for bankruptcy in November 2019. But Dean is still accepting bids and the deadline for submissions is March 30.

In a statement from DFA emailed to DairyReporter, executive VP Monica Massey said the coop is re-evaluating its options given the current circumstances to still bid by the deadline.

“We believe any bid we submit will benefit all dairy farmers, as no one has a greater interest in preserving milk markets than we do,”​ she said.

“Ultimately, whether we end up with facilities or they are purchased by other parties, DFA remains committed to preserving milk markets for our members and limiting disruption to the industry.”

There was a bankruptcy court hearing scheduled for March 12, that could have confirmed DFA as the ‘stalking horse’ bidder and set the minimum for the bid process. But for now it is still open, though it’s unclear if there have been any delays due to partial business shutdowns from the coronavirus pandemic.

Last month, CEO of Dean Foods Eric Beringause said, “We have had a relationship with DFA over the past 20 years, and we are confident in their ability to succeed in the current market and serve our customers with the same commitment to quality and service they have come to expect.”

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