DALLAS, Jan. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Dean Foods Company (NYSE: DF) today 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 9 states.ABOUT DEAN FOODSDean Foods is a leading food and beverage company in the United States. The Company's Fresh Dairy Direct segment is the nation's largest processor and direct-to-store distributor of fluid milk marketed under more than 50 local and regional dairy brands and private labels. Fresh Dairy Direct also distributes ice cream, cultured products, juices, teas, bottled water and other products. Morningstar Foods is a leading warehouse delivery dairy business that produces and sells traditional and specialty dairy items, including cultured dairy products, ice cream mixes, coffee creamers, aerosol whipped toppings, traditional and value-added milks, and blended iced beverages to retailers and foodservice providers nationwide. Dean Foods also holds a majority interest in The WhiteWave Foods Company, which produces and sells an array of nationally and internationally branded plant-based foods and beverages, coffee creamers and beverages, and premium dairy products. WhiteWave brands - including Silk®, Horizon Organic®, International Delight®, and LAND O LAKES® - are category leaders and consumer favorites. Alpro is the pan-European leader in branded soy food and beverage products with the Alpro® soya and Provamel® brands. For more information about Dean Foods, visit www.deanfoods.com. FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTSSome of the statements in this press release are "forward-looking" and are made pursuant to the safe harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These "forward-looking" statements include statements relating to, among other things, the expected use of net proceeds from the sale of Morningstar Foods, anticipated leverage ratios and expected financial performance. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause results to differ materially from the statements set forth in this press release, many of which are beyond the Company's control and which are described in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements in this press release speak only as of the date of this release. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to such statements to reflect any change in its expectations with regard thereto or any changes in the events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based. CONTACT: Corporate Communications, Jamaison Schuler, +1-214-721-7766; or Investor Relations, Barry Sievert, +1-214-303-3438 SOURCE Dean Foods Company
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