The US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas has approved the sale of Dean Foods assets to the list of buyers announced last week, primarily Dairy Farmers of America, which will acquire 44 of the firm’s fluid milk and frozen facilities.
On 1 April, Dallas-based Dean Foods, which filed for Chapter 11 in November after struggling for many years financially, revealed the Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) cooperative in Kansas was the buyer of the majority of its assets for US$433m.
The winning bidders for the company’s other assets include Prairie Farms Dairy; Mana Saves McArthur; Producers Dairy Foods; Harmoni Inc.; and Industrial Realty Group.
The DFA deal has been passed by the court even after concerns were raised by some of Dean Foods creditors over competition infringement, mainly because it would see the combination of the largest raw milk supplier in the US with the largest fresh milk processor, Dean Foods.
In a statement on Saturday (4 April), Dean Foods said each transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including any required regulatory approvals, and expects to close the transactions by early May.
Dean Foods president and chief executive Eric Beringause said: “Following the competitive court-supervised auction process, and with the Court’s approval, we have determined a combination of bids that represent the best path forward for our stakeholders. We are confident that, under these new owners, our customers can expect the same commitment to quality and service that Dean Foods has lived up to over the years.
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“We will continue to provide an uninterrupted supply of high-quality dairy products as we work towards completing these transactions. We appreciate the continued hard work and commitment of our Dean Foods employees throughout this process.”