Monday, 10 July 2000

Dean Foods and Land O’Lakes Complete Fluid Dairy Sale and Joint Venture

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Monday, 10 July 2000

FRANKLIN PARK, Ill., July 10 /PRNewswire/ — Dean Foods Company (NYSE: DF)
and Land O’Lakes, Inc., announced today that Dean Foods has completed the
purchase of Land O’Lakes Upper Midwest fluid milk operations. The two
organizations have also formed a joint venture to nationally market and
license certain value-added fluid and cultured dairy products to further
expand the LAND O LAKES(R) brand. Both agreements include long-term licensing
arrangements for use of the LAND O LAKES brand name.

“In this transaction, Dean Foods is acquiring a strong and successful
fluid dairy business that commands the leading position in its regional
market,” said Howard Dean, chairman and chief executive officer of Dean Foods.
“In addition, this acquisition offers Dean a unique opportunity to go to
market with one of the best known brands in the dairy industry and to extend
the LAND O LAKES brand name into new, value-added fluid and cultured dairy
products and into new geographical markets.”

“Land O’Lakes sees this joint venture as an opportunity to further
leverage the strength of our brand and reputation for quality, and extend the
geographic reach of our most innovative fluid dairy products,” said Chris
Policinski, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Land
O’Lakes Dairy Foods Value-Added Group. “In addition, the proceeds from the
sale of our regional fluid dairy business will enable us to further invest in
and strengthen our core businesses on behalf of our members.”

The asset purchase encompasses all the operating assets of Land O’Lakes
Fluid Dairy Division, including four fluid dairy plants located in Woodbury
(Twin Cities area) and Thief River Falls, Minnesota, Bismarck, North Dakota
and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, as well as a new extended-shelf-life (ESL)
dairy and cultured plant located in Richland Center, Wisconsin.

The acquired dairy division generates annual sales of approximately $310
million and markets a full line of fluid milk, yogurt, creams, sour cream and
cottage cheese, 85% of which is sold under the LAND O LAKES brand name. Land
O’Lakes will be the long-term agent for supplying the raw milk requirements of
the plants acquired by Dean Foods.

Under the separate joint venture agreement, Land O’Lakes and Dean Foods
each hold a 50% interest in an independent entity having the U.S. rights to
market and license LAND O LAKES brand cream, half and half, sour cream and
extended-shelf-life products, including the successful GRIP’N GO(TM)
single-serve milk and to develop new consumer-friendly, value-added dairy

No significant changes are anticipated in plant operations, employment or
the positioning of the LAND O LAKES brand name.

Dean Foods ( ) is one of the nation’s leading dairy
processors and distributors producing a full line of branded and private-label
products, including fluid milk, ice cream and extended-shelf-life products,
which are sold under the Dean Foods and other strong regional brand names.
Dean Foods is the industry leader in other food products, including pickles,
powdered non-dairy coffee creamers, aseptically packaged foodservice products,
and refrigerated dips and salad dressings. Total Dean Foods’ sales are
approximately $4 billion annually.

Land O’Lakes ( ) is a national farmer-owned food and
agricultural cooperative, with sales approaching $6 billion. Land O’Lakes
does business in all 50 states and more than 50 countries. It is a leading
marketer of a full line of dairy-based consumer, foodservice and food
ingredient products across the U.S.; services its international customers with
a variety of food and animal food ingredients; and provides farmers and local
cooperatives with an extensive line of agricultural supplies (feed, seed,
plant food and crop protection products) and services.

SOURCE Dean Foods

Web site: http//:

Company News On-Call: fax, 800-758-5804, ext. 109161

CONTACT: Eric Blanchard of Dean Foods, 847-233-5218; or LydiaBotham of Land O’Lakes, 651-481-2123

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