Farmland Dairies Beats Bankruptcy

April 29, 2005
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WALLINGTON, N.J. — Farmland Dairies LLC has emerged from Chapter 11 protection after a 14-month reorganization.

"I am very pleased to announce the end of the bankruptcy proceedings and our renewed commitment to growing the new Farmland Dairies," stated Martin Margherio, president and CEO.

Much of the restructuring efforts were concentrated upon its fresh milk and dairy products business in the Northeast and its Grand Rapids-based national aseptic milk products business.

A leading processor in those markets, Farmland's Wallington, N.J., headquarters houses the largest certified fluid milk plant in the nation.

"The bankruptcy process, although not a pleasant experience, allowed us time to dig into the very core of our business and assess all of the functions and manner in which we operated; and as a result, we have emerged a much stronger and more focused company," Margherio said.

Farmland has emerged with exit financing totaling $101 million consisting of a $56 million loan from LaSalle Business Credit and a $45 million term loan from GE Commercial Finance.

The equity of the emerged Farmland will be majority owned by GE Commercial Finance, Public Finance.

"With General Electric and LaSalle as our partners, Farmland is emerging with a healthy balance sheet and a focus on growth and prosperity. We can now look forward with a goal toward becoming the premier dairy in the Northeast, servicing our customers and introducing new products," Margherio said.

The reorganization was led by teams from Alix Partners and Weil Gotshal & Manges.   

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