America’s largest milk producer Dean Foods files for bankruptcy

13 Novembre, 2019, 13:00 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Dairy Farmers of America Wants to Buy Dean Foods But Others May Too

Eric Beringause, president and CEO of Dean Foods, said, "We have a strong operational footprint and distribution network, a robust portfolio of leading national brands and extensive private label capabilities, all supported by approximately 15,000 dedicated employees around the country".

"We continue to be impacted by a challenging operating environment marked by continuing declines in consumer milk consumption".

As part of the bankruptcy process, the company secured $850 million in financing from its existing lenders, including Rabobank (RSWLDD), to keep the company running.

It said in a press release that it plans to use the bankruptcy process to continue running its business, address debt, and pay now unfunded pensions to its employees.

In an announcement earlier today, Tuesday, November 12, Dean Foods revealed that both the firm and all of its subsidiaries have initiated "voluntary Chapter 11 reorganisation proceedings in the Southern District of Texas".

Dean Foods, the maker of Land O' Lakes brand milk says they are filing for Chapter 11. "Thanks to the strategic planning and management by our farmer Board of Directors and management team, the Cooperative is in a financial position to withstand a situation like this".

Dean Foods didn't reveal whether if there would be any layoffs.

It supplies milk for its own brands, like Dairy Pure, Meadow Gold and TruMoo, as well as store brands.

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Dean Foods has been posting losses after losing its biggest customer, Walmart Inc., which built its own plant.

The filing's effect on those companies is uncertain at this point.

Dean Foods, which owns Meadow Gold, filed Tuesday for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after reporting a net loss of $79.4 million in the quarter ending September 30.

Representatives for Uncle Matt's and Organic Valley did not respond to a request for comment.

Since about 1975, the amount of milk consumed per capita in America has dropped by about 40 percent, noted The Associated Press. That's still a fraction of the traditional milk market which will come in at just under $120 billion globally this year. It lost money in eight of the last 10 quarters.

In February, Dean Foods announced it would undertake a strategic review to facilitate growth, including explorations of a merger, joint venture, sale, or disposal of certain assets.

The global market for milk alternatives is expected to top $18 billion this year, up 3.5% from 2018, according to Euromonitor. The burgeoning segment has attracted the interest of some of the biggest names in CPG, including Groupe Danone, General Mills and The Coca-Cola Company.

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