DFA Loses Inside Track for Dean Foods

March 23, 2020
Dairy Farmers of America has been removed as the favored bidder for the assets of Dean Foods.

Dairy Farmers of America has been removed as the favored bidder for the assets of Dean Foods, following objections by dairy farmers, Dean shareholders and others.

When Dean declared bankruptcy in November, DFA, its largest supplier, was named as the most likely purchaser of its processing plants and other assets. DFA was given “stalking horse” status, meaning it would have first dibs on the assets and would set the minimum amount for a company sale.

However, a group including dairy farmers and shareholders of both Dean and DFA objected to the sale, filing an amicus brief with the U.S. bankruptcy court in Houston. The brief alleged that “DFA murdered Dean,” referring to DFA as “mobsters” and “the Godfather.” In addition, federal regulators started looking into potential antitrust violations that a DFA-Dean merger might spark.

DFA is still eligible to bid for Dean, but its loss of “stalking horse” status means it is less able to control the terms of the bidding.

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