Golden Guernsey auction attracts bids

An auction was held this morning for Golden Guernsey Dairy LLC, the Waukesha dairy plant that closed suddenly in January, leaving about 100 people out of work.

 

The deadline to submit bids for the company was Friday. Canton, Ohio-based LEL Operating Company, the parent company of Superior Dairy Inc., submitted the initial bid of $5.5 million. Further bids had to be at least $5.765 million, according to court documents.

Court-appointed trustee Charles Stanziale Jr. told BizTimes Media partner WISN-Channel 12 News on Friday that two bidders have come forward to buy the shuttered business.

Los Angeles-based private investment and acquisition firm OpenGate Capital acquired Golden Guernsey in September 2011 from Dean Foods after the U.S. Department of Justice required Dean Foods to sell the business in order to resolve antitrust concerns that Dean Foods’ share of the school milk supply business was too large.

OpenGate, which closed the doors in January, attributed some of Golden Guernsey’s financial problems to strict existing contracts when it purchased the business. But under bankruptcy law, the new owner would not have to abide by any of the old contracts for customers or the union, Stanziale said.

According to court documents, the auction was held today at 10 a.m. CST at the law offices of McCarter & English LLP in Newark, N.J. The results are not yet available in online court documents.

A hearing will be held in Wilmington, Del. Bankruptcy Court on June 10 to consider the sale of the assets. The sale would then close within 20 days of sale approval.

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