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Stater Bros. Markets, yesterday agreed to sell Santee Dairies to dairy Dean Foods due to its limited product growth opportunities as a Stater subsidiary.
"The future growth of Santee Dairies' products was limited because most potential customers are competing supermarket chains that already operate their own dairies,” said Jack H. Brown, chairman, president, and CEO of San Bernardino, Calif.-based Stater Bros. “They have been advised by their parent corporations not to purchase products, other than Knudsen fluid milk and Arnold Palmer Tee, from Santee Dairies, which they feel would help with the expansion of Stater Bros. At Stater Bros., we try to do the right thing...for the right reason. The right thing is to sell Santee Dairy to Dean Foods, America's largest dairy, to ensure the continued growth of Santee. The right reason is to protect the future of the Santee employees."
Dallas-based Dean Foods is the largest processor and distributor of milk and other dairy products in America, selling products under more than 50 familiar local and regional brands. It manufactures products in more than 100 facilities in 36 states and employs more than 26,000 people.
"This is clearly the best decision for the future growth of Santee Dairies,” said Brown. “Stater Bros. will continue to purchase Santee's fine dairy products, including its Knudsen Blue Ribbon label products, and sell them at our popular low, low prices."
The transaction is expected to be completed within the next few months, according to Brown.