Dean Foods has agreed to dispose of a Wisconsin dairy and brands it acquired from Foremost Farms in order to settled a competition lawsuit backed by the US Department of Justice and three states.

In January last year, the DoJ together with the states of Illinois, Michigan and Wisonson filed a suit against Dean Foods arguing that the 2009 acquisition of Foremost Farms' assets resulted in a "substantial" lessening of competition in the three states.

A spokesperson for Dean Foods told just-food that the company continued to disagree with this argument but had decided to reach a settlement to avoid the costly nature of ongoing litigation.

"We continue to believe that our acquisition of the Foremost Farms assets in Wisconsin supported competition and benefited consumers. However, because ongoing litigation is expensive, distracting and brings uncertainty to our business, we believe that this resolution is in the best interest of our employees, shareholders, customers and consumers. It allows us to move forward and focus on our core business objectives," the spokesperson commented.

Dean Foods has agreed to divest the Waukesha, Wisconsin, plant and operations that it acquired in 2009 from Foremost Farms, including the Golden Guernsey and La Vaca Bonita brands. The company will retain the DePere plant and operations.