Dean Foods Co. (NYSE: DF) announced the completion of the previously announced sale of its Morningstar Foods division to Saputo Inc. (TSX: SAP) for US$1.45 billion.
As a result of this transaction, Dean Foods expects to realize approximately US$887 million in proceeds, net of taxes and expenses. The Company plans to use all net proceeds toward fully retiring its remaining senior secured term debt, significantly lowering its leverage and increasing its financial flexibility.
Dean Foods also completed the previously announced transaction with The WhiteWave Foods Company (NYSE: WWAV), a controlled subsidiary of the Company, whereby WhiteWave received $60 million net of taxes as consideration for the termination of an option to purchase plant capacity and property at a Morningstar facility and the sale to Morningstar of certain manufacturing equipment located at another Morningstar plant.
Morningstar Foods is a leading manufacturer of dairy and non-dairy extended shelf-life ("ESL") and cultured products, including creams and creamers, ice cream mixes, whipping cream, aerosol whipped toppings, iced coffee, half and half, value-added milks, sour cream and cottage cheese. The transaction includes the operations of Morningstar Foods including approximately 2,000 employees and 10 manufacturing facilities in nine states.