Stater Bros. Markets, a subsidiary of Stater Bros. Holdings, is to sell Santee Dairies to US dairy giant Dean Foods.

Jack Brown, chairman, president and CEO of Stater Bros. Holdings, said the future of Santee Dairies’ products was “limited”.

“Most potential customers are competing supermarket chains that already operate their own dairies and have been advised by their parent corporations not to purchase products, other than Knudsen fluid milk and Arnold Palmer Tee, from Santee Dairies, which they feel would help with the expansion of Stater Bros. Markets,” said Brown. “At Stater Bros., we try to do the right thing…for the right reason. The right thing is to sell Santee Dairy to Dean Foods, America’s largest dairy, to insure the continued growth of Santee. The right reason is to protect the future of the Santee ‘Family’ of Employees.”

The transaction is expected to be completed within the next few months, according to Brown.

“This is clearly the best decision for the future growth of Santee Dairies,” Brown added. “Stater Bros. Markets will continue to purchase Santee’s fine dairy products, including its Knudsen Blue Ribbon label products, and sell them at our popular low, low prices.”

Dean Foods is the largest processor and distributor of milk and other dairy products in the US, selling products under more than 50 local and regional brands.