According to the Kansas City Business Journal, the Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), the largest dairy cooperative by membership in the United States, remains in the running to buy Dean Foods, but it no longer has an inside track. Dean Foods, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 2019, will have its assets sold in a court-administered auction process. It dropped a request to have the DFA considered the stalking-horse bidder, which would set a minimum for the process.

In February, the DFA made an offer to buy Dean Foods for $425 million plus the assumption of various liabilities. Officials within the two organizations said that they mutually agreed to withdraw the request that DFA’s bid be considered the baseline.

“Dean Foods simply believes that, by avoiding unnecessary litigation regarding procedure and bid protections for DFA, all parties involved, including DFA, will focus on developing competitive and value-maximizing bids,” said Anne Divjak, vice president of government relations and external communications for Dean Foods, in an email statement.

The process approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Houston calls for bids to be submitted by noon on March 30. The court will hold a hearing on the sale of Dean Foods assets on April 3.

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