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Offer put in for Golden Guernsey

The front gate remains locked at Golden Guernsey Dairy processing plant in Waukesha on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013. The plant closed suddenly on Saturday and is not expected to reopen.

The front gate remains locked at Golden Guernsey Dairy processing plant in Waukesha on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013. The plant closed suddenly on Saturday and is not expected to reopen. Photo By Scott Ash

March 5, 2013

According to reports, the parent company of an Ohio dairy processor has offered $5.5 million for the Golden Guernsey Dairy plant in Waukesha, a new court filing shows.

The Canton, Ohio-based LEL Operating Company put down a $500,000 deposit, according to the filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.

This development comes two months after the Los Angeles-based private equity firm that acquired the plant in September 2011, shut down the Waukesha staple.

It then sought Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection for Golden Guernsey in Delaware bankruptcy court.

More than 100 workers were laid off due to the closing. It left schools and other grocery stores who utilize Golden Guernsey products to scramble when the announcement was made.

Golden Guernsey opened in 1930 in Milwaukee before moving to Waukesha in 1955.

Dean Foods acquired the De Pere and Waukesha plants from Foremost Farms USA of Baraboo in 2009 for $35 million.

But OpenGate Capital, the Los Angeles firm, bought Golden Guernsey after its former owner, Dean Foods, was required to sell the plant to settle antitrust concerns.

Milk sales has been dropping for years. There are now fewer than 400 milk bottling plants - down from about 600 in 1996 and 2,500 in 1975.

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