US dairy giant Dean Foods plans to offer US$400m in senior notes to institutional buyers.

Proceeds from the move will pay down a portion of a loan under Dean's credit facility, the Alpro owner said today (9 December).

Dean, which has seen profits slump amid higher commodity costs and fierce competition in the own-label milk category, has faced speculation that it could miss its debt covenants next year.

Analysts have argued that Dean may have to sell assets to pay down debt.