Golden Guernsey, the Wisconsin dairy plant that closed unexpectedly in January, may re-open this summer. The plant was purchased during a bankruptcy auction by Lifeway Foods Inc. of Morton Grove, Illinois, for $7.4 million. The only other bidder was Superior Dairy LLC from Canton, Ohio.
Golden Guernsey Dairy sought bankruptcy protection in January after a Los Angeles-based private equity firm closed the business.
The abrupt closure caused area schools to switch milk vendors, first to Kemp's and later to Prairie Farms Dairy.
Click here to read more about the plant's closure.
A June hearing should finalize the sale of Golden Guernsey, assuming that Lifeway Foods finds the financing, which it is expected to do. The company had $89.8 million in sales in 2012 and is traded on the Nasdaq stock exchange.
Charles Stanziale, a U.S. Bankruptcy Court trustee in New Jersey who handled the Golden Guernsey case and the auction, told the Journal Sentinel that "there's no reason to think that it [the sale] won't be completed."
However, if the Lifeway Foods offer were to fall through, Superior Dairy could still acquire the operation.
Superior Dairy manufactures a variety of dairy products for grocery stores and other businesses such as COSTCO and Baskin Robbins.
Lifeway Foods makes kefir, a dairy product similar to yogurt, at plants in Illinois and Pennsylvania. The company wants to buy Golden Guernsey in order to increase its production capacity. PD
—Compiled from various sources