In a $400 million cash and stock deal, Suiza Foods Corp. signed a definitive agreement to buy the assets of four dairies, including three owned by Garelick Farms Inc., a major plastic bottle maker.
Franklin, Mass.-based Garelick includes Fairdale Farms in Bennington, Vt., Miscoe Springs, a water bottling company in Mendon, Mass., and Grant's Dairy in Bangor, Maine. The deal includes 16 affiliated blow molding operations in 13 states in the East and Midwest. The combined dairy and bottle businesses had annual sales of about $370 million.
The deal will be complete within 60 days pending regulatory approval. Tracy Noll, Suiza chief financial officer, said Suiza has some captive dairy blow molding operations. Suiza went public in April 1996.
Garelick, run by Alan and Peter Bernon, makes PET and high density polyethylene water and dairy containers, including some for outside customers.
Dallas-based Suiza owns distribution-oriented food businesses. The firm reported sales of $520.9 million for the year ended Dec. 31. For the first quarter of 1997, Suiza's sales increased 51 percent to $165 million compared with the same period last year. The company's total indebtedness is about $156.9 million.
With 1,500 employees, Garelick does not expect any staff changes with the acquisition.
The deal also includes the purchase of Dairy Fresh LP, a Winston-Salem, N.C., processor of milk and ice cream with sales of $125 million last year.