DFA to purchase a portion of Dean Foods’ assets for $433m

By Beth Newhart contact

- Last updated on GMT

"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.”
"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.”

Related tags: Dean foods, Dfa, Dairy farmers, Dairy Farm, Dairy farming, Mergers and acquisitions

After several months of back and forth following the Dean Foods bankruptcy, the Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) co-op is acquiring a majority of its assets for $433m. Prairie Farms Dairy will also get a portion for $75m.

DFA initially put in a bid of $425m to purchase the assets, rights, interests, and properties relating to 44 of Dean Foods’ fluid and frozen facilities. In February the deal was approved, but then called off by mid-March.

Now the transaction stands at $433m for the same 44 facilities, Dean Foods confirmed to DairyReporter. The auction was open to public bids until March 30, and DFA re-evaluated its circumstances before submitting the new bid.

In a statement from DFA emailed to DairyReporter, executive VP Monica Massey said, “After many months of uncertainty regarding the future of Dean Foods, we are pleased to have been named the accepted bidder for a large portion of Dean’s assets.

“The more than 13,500 dairy farmers who own our Cooperative, and dairy farmers across the country, will now benefit from these milk markets remaining open. Throughout this process, our main focus has always been, and continues to be, on maintaining milk markets and limiting disruption to the industry.”

Dean Foods also announced that it designated Prairie Farms Dairy as the winner of the assets, rights, interests, and properties relating to eight additional facilities, two distribution branches and certain other assets for $75m.

Mana Saves McArthur, LLC, and Producers Dairy Foods are the winning bidders for the sale of the facilities located in Miami, Florida, and Reno, Nevada, respectively. And Harmoni, Inc. is the winning bidder for the Uncle Matt’s business.

Industrial Realty Group, LLC will buy Dean Foods’ Meadow Gold Hawaii operations as an ongoing business, including the Hilo and Honolulu facilities. Industrial Realty will partner with 8 Cow Dairies, a Hawaii-based company, to manage operations.

Eric Beringause, president and CEO of Dean Foods, said, “We ran a competitive auction process and are pleased to have reached these agreements, which we believe represent the best path forward for our stakeholders. Dean Foods has strong and long-standing relationships with DFA and Prairie Farms Dairy.

“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.”

"We are committed to completing these transactions as quickly as possible, and to ensuring a smooth transition for our customers. 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.”

A hearing to seek required court approvals is scheduled for April 3, and the transactions are expected to close at the end of April. 

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