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Sat Jan 5, 2013, 09:03 PM

Golden Guernsey in Waukesha suddenly closes

Source: JSOnline

Waukesha - The Golden Guernsey dairy processing plant in Waukesha that supplies milk to schools and supermarkets was closed suddenly Saturday when employees showed up for work and were told not to stay, sources said.

Lynn Mielke, president of Mapleton Dairy Haulers in Oconomowoc, said he was told by Golden Guernsey managers early Saturday that the plant was shutting down.

Mielke said he was stunned by the closing and left scrambling as he tried to find alternate supplies of milk for hundreds of local schools.

"There's going to be schools without milk on Monday morning - a lot of them - and they don't know it yet," he said.

The dairy operation at 2101 Delafield St. has been under new ownership since last year.

Open Gate Capital, a Los Angeles private equity firm, bought Golden Guernsey after its former owner, Dean Foods, was required to sell the plant to settle antitrust concerns.

Read more: http://www.jsonline.com/business/golden-guernsey-in-waukesha-suddenly-closes-sources-say-i488vri-185759901.html



Private equity firm shuts down local dairy.

They'll blame it on anti-trust regulations, big gummint, ya know.

28 replies, 8013 views

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Arrow 28 replies Author Time Post
Reply Golden Guernsey in Waukesha suddenly closes (Original post)
postulater Jan 2013 OP
liberal N proud Jan 2013 #1
freshwest Jan 2013 #13
Drum Jan 2013 #14
liberal N proud Jan 2013 #21
SDjack Jan 2013 #2
Arctic Dave Jan 2013 #3
truedelphi Jan 2013 #4
postulater Jan 2013 #8
truedelphi Jan 2013 #28
dragonlady Jan 2013 #5
dragonlady Jan 2013 #12
hedda_foil Jan 2013 #6
postulater Jan 2013 #10
AllyCat Jan 2013 #20
benld74 Jan 2013 #7
nc4bo Jan 2013 #9
DeSwiss Jan 2013 #11
Ed Suspicious Jan 2013 #15
SoapBox Jan 2013 #16
The Wizard Jan 2013 #17
Wellstone ruled Jan 2013 #18
AllyCat Jan 2013 #19
hue Jan 2013 #22
WIDairyman Jan 2013 #23
sybylla Jan 2013 #25
Angry Dragon Jan 2013 #27
sybylla Jan 2013 #24
HereSince1628 Jan 2013 #26

Response to postulater (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 09:08 PM

1. The equity firm must have decided the needed some quick cash.

They can get the first infusion by the savings they will claim on labor. Next they will sell the business in part or whole.

It is about making money make money and not making things to make money.

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Response to liberal N proud (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:43 PM

13. Nailed it. The Romney Gecko business model.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #13)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:24 PM

14. Precisely. You nailed it (Gecko ref) n/t

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Response to Drum (Reply #14)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 11:21 AM

21. I am living it with the company I currently work for.

Don't know how much longer it will last, but they are closing facilities and cutting workforce and the writing is on the wall. They will liquidate the entire business at some point.

All in the name of quick cash.

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Response to postulater (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 09:11 PM

2. Of course, Open Gate Cap left the employees' retirement fund intact -- right?

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Response to postulater (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 09:25 PM

3. Weird, our local dairy that suplied milk to the schools closed suddenly last week.

 

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Response to postulater (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 09:32 PM

4. Goddss almighty - i have been screaming about this for several years

Somehow the Banks on Wall street are never seen as having to worry about Anti Trust Provisions.

Nor do they have to worry about loans - after all, they are so big they are too big to fail.

In Summer of 2009, the dairy farmers here in California were not able to qualify for the suddenly stringent requirements for credit needed to apply for their usual loans. So over 100,000 dairy cows were slaughtered in just the four counties where I follow the news.

Something is very very wrong in our society. The very dickwads that have destroyed this nation are receiving vast amounts of money - most of which we commoners never even find out about. And any time that healthy foods are supplied by companies doing it right - they immediately end up being taken over, or else they are hit with things like the Anti Trust actions.

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Response to truedelphi (Reply #4)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 09:53 PM

8. Started out as a farmer-owned cooperative.

http://www.goldenguernsey.com/history/

"For over 80 years Golden Guernsey Dairy has held a trusted place in the mind of consumers. In 1930, starting out as a farmer-owned cooperative in Milwaukee Wisconsin, the first milk was produced and delivered under the Golden Guernsey Dairy brand name. By 1935, Golden Guernsey Dairy had grown from a single route servicing 85 customers to 20,000 customers on their home delivery routes in the signature dairy trucks. By 1955 construction began at its current facility in Waukesha, Wisconsin. As home delivery began to decline in the late 60’s, Golden Guernsey Dairy looked to its future through the distribution of their products in grocery stores and supermarkets. Throughout the following decades the technology in packaging and processing continued to progress. Milk packaging advanced from glass to paper to plastic. State-of-the-art processing facilities were constantly refined to accommodate expanding product lines. Throughout these developments, service and safety continued to be a top priority.

Today, Golden Guernsey Dairy maintains its’ superior reputation as producers of the freshest, high quality products. We continue to dedicate our knowledge and vision to offering our consumers healthy, nutritious dairy choices."

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Response to postulater (Reply #8)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 02:19 PM

28. Thanks for the history lesson. I used to live in WI

And I remember the brand.

This scares me a lot - we have a similar brand out where i live now. I wonder if Anti Trust can be used against them too?

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Response to postulater (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 09:40 PM

5. Very sorry to hear that

Golden Guernsey was the only dairy that sold Bgh-free milk in the area.

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Response to dragonlady (Reply #5)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:42 PM

12. After some browsing

it appears that Trader Joe may also carry bgh-free milk. Will have to check it out.

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Response to postulater (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 09:46 PM

6. Hello? Remember the stories the past week that milk prices might suddenly double?

It had to do with Congress's failure to pass the farm bill. But the milk subsidy fix was unexpectedly included in the fiscal cliff Bill. Might this sudden shut- down of dairies have something to do with the fact that there isn''tt going to be any windfall profit in milk money?

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Response to hedda_foil (Reply #6)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:17 PM

10. Wisconsin Attorney General (Walker's guy) made Dean sell.



"Sept. 12, 2011 | Open Gate Capital, a global private investment firm, has completed its acquisition of Dean Foods' Golden Guernsey plant in Waukesha.

The plant is at 2101 Delafield St. As of the closing it will operate under the name Golden Guernsey Dairy LLC.

The plant needed to be sold after a judgment in a federal antitrust case against Dean Foods by the State of Wisconsin. The judgment indicated that, due to the Dallas-based Dean Foods' market share, its ownership of the plant could adversely affect the price of milk. The plant has been looking for a buyer since the March decision by Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen.

Dean Foods had acquired the Waukesha plant in 2009 from Foremost Foods, based in Baraboo.(19)"

http://www.jsonline.com/business/129643733.html

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Response to postulater (Reply #10)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 01:53 AM

20. Should have known Van Hollen would have his hand in this.

So much for adversely affecting the price of milk...who needs competition when you can just buy it and shutter it?

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Response to postulater (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 09:48 PM

7. Golden is still listed as part of Open Gate on their site,

Golden Guernsey Dairy, based in Waukesha, WI, produces and distributes high quality milk and other dairy products to schools, grocery stores, convenience stores and major retailers throughout the Upper Midwest region of the United States. The Company markets its products through its Golden Guernsey Dairy® and La Vaca Bonita® brands as well as offering white label products to customers. Established in 1930, Golden Guernsey Dairy has been a trusted leader of Wisconsin’s long-standing dairy tradition.

Producer and Distributor of Dairy Products – USA

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Response to postulater (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 09:58 PM

9. Oh Mitt & friends?

or Bain or Bain Capital or whatever vulture capital company is at the bottom of this...........

One day we're going to stop you. Maybe not today or tomorrow.........one day.

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Response to postulater (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:20 PM

11. K&R


Grownups stink!

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Response to postulater (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 12:03 AM

15. Fuck private equity. Gutting and shutting local business is a really shitty thing to do! n/t

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Response to Ed Suspicious (Reply #15)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 12:58 AM

16. Exactly.

And this type of shit is what is supposed to make America so great? Capitalism and "Free Markets" at their best??

...don't think so.

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Response to postulater (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 01:12 AM

17. Investment banks

have gamed the system to a degree never before seen. We have to start jailing bankers and seizing their assets. It worked in Iceland.

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Response to postulater (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 01:36 AM

18. Wow,great little Co-op,really sad this has happened

to all of the small Dairy Farmers in that area. Dairying today with only Guernsey's is a short margin operation. In that area you have Organic Valley as your best choice of non BHT or any other Bio's added milk. Got to remember,Dean Foods are bad ass people,they sell milk that they claim to be all organic,but it isn't. They have been busted umpteen times by the Organic Foods people for making false statements as to marketing and labeling of their milk. Smells like maybe Marigold foods probably had their fingers in this debacle. They have a history of cut throat bidding and pricing in school lunch programs. Then supply crap. It's all about kick backs and favors. Been there and seen that.

Hope somebody steps in for the kids sake. Got to remember,Wisconsin was the first state to offer a school lunch program and free milk for all of the kids. Leave it to a carpet bagger like Walker to have a hand in this shameful situation. Is this the best you can do in Wisconsin? Don't think so,turn off the Faux Noise and get back to your Progressive Roots.

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Response to postulater (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 01:50 AM

19. Vulture capitalism at work...

...cutting the rug out from employees and communities. And little kids at school. But hey, it's all for the money. No hard feelings, okay?

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Response to postulater (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 11:34 AM

22. Open Gate Capital=another Bain-like/parasitic mega cluster f**ker!!

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Response to postulater (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 05:08 PM

23. Fed's unintended consequencies

In March, 2011, Dean Foods was ordered to sell its milk processing plant in Waukesha, which settles a federal antitrust lawsuit that fought the company’s 2009 purchase of the plant from Foremost Farms USA because it controlled nearly 60 percent of milk sales.
The Federal DOJ lawsuit challenging the purchase was based on Federal antitrust laws that claimed the purchase prevented retailers and school districts from benefiting from competition between the two companies, according to the release. Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin DOJ's joined the lawsuit to protect their consumers' interest. The Federal government should have known that Open Gate Capital has a history of buying a company only to close it within a year. They bought it in September, 2011 from a Federal Court appointed trustee. The uncertainty of the Federal Farm bill "broke the camel's back".

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Response to WIDairyman (Reply #23)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 06:18 PM

25. I'll take anti-trust lawsuits anyday over a corporate strangle-hold on any market.

Unintended consequences or not.

If this is Dean foods operating through a back door, they have just opened the door to other competition. There are loads of providers who sell milk to schools and who will fill dairy shelves in grocery stores in WI.

These "middlemen" in the dairy market like Kraft and Deans have been sucking money from the public and screwing farmers for decades. And congress has been holding their hands all the while.

Those suffering here are children and their schools (and by extension the taxpayers), the employees and their families, and the farmers who may need to find a new milk buyer asap because GG will stop accepting their milk (though I'm betting they were probably buying their milk off the wholesale market rather than direct from farms).

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Response to sybylla (Reply #25)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 08:02 PM

27. then why is there a monopoly of Wall Street??

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Response to postulater (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 06:04 PM

24. These companies contract to sell milk to schools and to buy milk from farmers.

If they back out of those contracts, their shut down will not be cheap.

But if they are just trying to shut down opposition and narrow the market, then they really won't care how much it costs.

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Response to postulater (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 06:27 PM

26. The Mu chapter of Beta Beta Beta at Carroll always had a pic with the giant fiberglass cow there

Rather like losing an family member

First the twinkies, then the milk that went with them!

We'll see if another corp picks up the pieces.

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