DALLAS and BOULDER, Colo., May 8, 2002 —
Dean Foods Becomes America’s Largest Soymilk Manufacturer Boulder-Based White Wave Management Committed to Growing Silk Brand Pending Litigation Between Dean Foods and White Wave to Be Dismissed Upon Closing
Dean Foods Company (NYSE: DF) announced today that it has signed a definitive
agreement to acquire the 64% equity interest in White Wave, Inc. it does not
currently own. White Wave, based in Boulder, Co., is the maker of Silk(R), the
leading refrigerated soymilk in the country, and had sales of approximately $125
million during the twelve months ended March 31, 2002.
“We are extremely excited about this transaction,” said Gregg Engles, Chairman
and Chief Executive Officer of Dean Foods. “We believe that soymilk is one of
the most promising branded growth opportunities in the food and beverage
industry today. With its proven record of success in the soymilk category, we
believe White Wave is well positioned to take advantage of the explosive growth
potential that this category holds. Dean Foods is committed to investing and
innovating in the functional beverage arena, and this transaction is another
step toward delivering on that commitment.”
“We are more committed than ever to our original mission of creatively leading
the full integration of soy foods into the American diet,” said Steve Demos,
Founder and President of White Wave. “By joining forces with Dean Foods, we will
have more resources available to innovate, extend our brand and expand our
distribution. Additionally, we believe that our principles rooted in
sustainable, environmentally sensible practices have the opportunity to succeed
on an even larger scale. We are anxious to move on to the next phase of our
Dean Foods will purchase the remaining 64% interest in White Wave for a total
price of approximately $189 million, bringing Dean’s total investment to
approximately $204 million. Dean Foods anticipates that the transaction will
have a neutral effect on earnings in the first full year after closing.
Steve Demos, founder and President of White Wave, will remain President of White
Wave, reporting directly to Gregg Engles, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
of Dean Foods. White Wave and its existing management team will continue to be
based in Boulder, Co.
“We believe that this transaction is an important step in our growth strategy
and will create long-term value for our shareholders,” said Engles. “In
addition, we structured the transaction to encourage the White Wave management
team to stay with us and to remain committed to their brand, their company and
their mission. We look forward to working with and learning from this highly
energetic and successful management team.”
The agreement announced today resolves the outstanding litigation between White
Wave and Dean Foods regarding Dean’s option to acquire the 64% of White Wave it
does not currently own. Closing of the transaction is subject to the expiration
of the Hart-Scott Rodino waiting period and other customary closing conditions.
Conference Call and Webcast
Today at 10:00 a.m. eastern, Dean Foods will host its quarterly earnings
conference call to discuss the company’s results for the first quarter, the
outlook for the balance of the year and the White Wave transaction. A live
webcast of the call and a replay will be available on the Dean Foods company
website at www.deanfoods.com .
About White Wave
White Wave, Inc., was established in Boulder, Co. in 1977. Founder and company
president Steve Demos’ belief in “business without guilt” has made White Wave
one of the largest manufacturers of soyfoods in the country. White Wave was
recently ranked 351 in Inc magazine’s “500 fastest growing privately- owned
companies” and produces more than 40 soy products including Silk(R) Soymilk,
Silk(R) Cultured Soy yogurt and White Wave(TM) Tofu and Tempeh. For more
information, visit www.SilkIsSoy.com .
About Dean Foods
Dean Foods Company is one of the nation’s leading food and beverage companies.
The company produces a full line of company-branded and private label dairy
products such as milk and milk-based beverages, ice cream, coffee creamers, half
and half, whipping cream, whipped toppings, sour cream, cottage cheese, yogurt,
dips, dressings and soy milk. The company is also a leading supplier of pickles
and other specialty food products, juice, juice drinks and water. The company
operates over 120 plants in 38 U.S. states and 3 countries, and employs more
than 30,000 people.
Some of the statements in this press release are “forward-looking” and are made
pursuant to the safe harbor provision of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of
1995. These “forward-looking” statements include statements relating generally
to the company’s ability to profit from the White Wave acquisition and to grow
the Silk(R) and White Wave(R) brands as expected. These statements involve risks
and uncertainties that may cause results to differ materially from the
statements set forth in this press release. White Wave’s ability to profit from
its branding initiatives will depend on a number of factors, including primarily
customer acceptance of White Wave’s products. 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.
Dean Foods: Cory Olson
Senior Vice President, Treasurer
White Wave: Jay Lemke
Senior Counselor, Carmichael Lynch Spong
SOURCE Dean Foods Company; White Wave, Inc.
CONTACT: Cory Olson, Senior Vice President, Treasurer, +1-214-303-3645,
or P.I. Aquino, Assistant Treasurer, +1-214-303-3437, both of Dean Foods
Company; or Jay Lemke, Senior Counselor of Carmichael Lynch Spong,
+1-612-375-8529, for White Wave, Inc.