Thursday, 6 December 2001

Suiza Foods Corporation and Dean Foods Company Announce Merger Progress; Transaction Expected to Close By Year End

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Thursday, 6 December 2001

DALLAS and FRANKLIN PARK, Ill., Dec 6, 2001 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Suiza
Foods Corporation (NYSE: SZA) and Dean Foods Company (NYSE: DF) announced today
that they plan to divest five additional plants which the companies expect will
resolve regulatory issues relating to their pending merger. Suiza Foods also
expects to make modifications to the terms of its buyout of the minority
interest in its dairy group held by Dairy Farmers of America. The companies plan
to complete the merger prior to year end.

The combined company expects to divest a total of 11 plants in connection with
the merger, including plants in Huntsville, Ala.; Winterhaven and Miami, Fla.;
New Paris, Ind.; London and Madisonville, Ky.; Cincinnati and Cleveland, Ohio;
N. Charleston, S.C., Salt Lake City, Utah; and Bristol, Va. All of the divested
plants are expected to be sold at closing to National Dairy Holdings, L. P.

“We are very excited about the prospects for the combined company,” said Gregg
Engles, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Suiza Foods. “None of the
proposed changes to the original structure of the transaction will have any
material effect on the merger or the benefits we expect to realize from these
transactions. We look forward to closing the transaction and moving ahead with
the integration process.”

Howard Dean, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dean Foods, remarked, “We
are very pleased to have made significant progress toward completion of the
merger. We remain confident that the combined company will have the capability
to better serve our customers and, as a result, create long-term value for the
shareholders of the new Dean Foods Company.”

Completion of the merger and the sale of the plants is subject to final
regulatory review and other customary closing conditions.

About Dean Foods:

Dean Foods, headquartered in the Chicago area, 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’s and other well-known regional brand
names. Dean Foods is an industry leader in other food products including
pickles, powdered non-dairy coffee creamers, aseptically packaged foodservice
products, and refrigerated dips and salad dressings. More information about Dean
Foods can be found on its web site at .

About Suiza Foods:

Suiza Foods Corporation, based in Dallas, Texas, is the nation’s leading dairy
processor and distributor, producing a full line of company-branded and
customer-branded products. National brands include International Delight(R),
Second Nature(R), Naturally Yours(R), Mocha Mix(R), Sun Soy(TM), kidsmilk(TM)
and fitmilk(TM). Regional brands consist of Adohr Farms(R), Barbe’s(R), Brown’s
Dairy(TM), Broughton(R), Country Fresh(R), Dairy Gold(R), Dairymens(R), Lehigh
Valley Farms(R), London’s(R), Meadow Gold(R), Model Dairy(TM), Natural by
Garelick Farms(R), Oak Farms(R), Poudre Valley(R), Robinson(R), Schenkel’s All
Star Dairy(R), Schepps(R), Shenandoah’s Pride(R), Suiza(TM), Louis Trauth(TM),
Tuscan(R), Velda Farms(R) and West Lynn Creamery(R). Suiza also sells product
under licensed brands in certain regions including Borden(R), Flav-O-Rich(R),
Foremost(R), Hershey’s(R) and Pet(R). Additionally, the company owns
approximately 43% of Consolidated Container Company, one of the nation’s largest
manufacturers of rigid plastic containers for consumer goods.

The statements in this press release regarding (1) the expected timing for
completion of the proposed merger between Suiza Foods and Dean Foods, (2) the
expected plant divestitures to be made in connection with the transaction, (3)
the expected modifications to Suiza Foods’ agreements with DFA, and (4) the
expected impact of such divestitures and transaction changes are “forward-
looking” and are made pursuant to the safe harbor provision of the Securities
Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements involve risks and uncertainties
that could cause results to differ materially from the statements set forth in
this press release. The companies’ ability to close the proposed transaction on
the terms and in the timeframe contemplated depends primarily on the companies’
ability to obtain final regulatory approval for the transaction on the terms and
within the timeframe contemplated. The actual impact that the changes to the
transaction will have on the benefits of the transaction will depend on a number
of factors, many of which will be beyond the companies’ control. Risks relating
to the proposed merger between Suiza Foods and Dean Foods and to the business of
the combined company after the merger are identified in the joint proxy
statement/prospectus filed by the companies in connection with the transaction.
Risks regarding Suiza Foods’ business are set forth in its quarterly report on
Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2001. Risks regarding Dean Foods’
business are set forth in its annual report on Form 10K for the year ended May
27, 2001. The forward-looking statements in this press release speak only as of
the date of this release. Suiza Foods and Dean Foods expressly disclaim any
obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to such
statements to reflect any changes in their expectations with regard thereto or
any changes in the events, conditions or circumstances on which such statements
are based.

SOURCE Suiza Foods Corporation and Dean Foods Company

CONTACT: Cory Olson, Vice President and Treasurer, +1-214-303-3645, or
P.I. Aquino, Assistant Treasurer, +1-214-303-3437, both of Suiza Foods
Corporation; or Barbara Klein, Vice President Finance and CFO,
+1-847-233-5263, or William Luegers, Vice President and Treasurer,
+1-847-233-5361, both of Dean Foods Company


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