Dean Foods to sell 18.7 million shares

by Staff
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DALLAS — Dean Foods Co. has announced its intent to sell approximately 18.7 million shares of common stock, a move that will increase fully diluted shares outstanding by about 13%.

The company said it will use the revenue from the sale to reduce outstanding debt under its senior credit facility and for general corporate purposes.

"As we’ve noted previously, the operating environment in 2007 was extremely difficult and operating results were below the expectations we had when we recapitalized the balance sheet last March," said Gregg Engles, chairman and chief executive officer. "As a result, we entered 2008 approximately a year behind our original debt reduction expectations. Raising capital at this time allows us to reduce our total outstanding debt to levels more consistent with our initial expectations and significantly reduce our interest expense in the years to come."

The sale is underwritten by Lehman Brothers, Inc. and is expected to close on March 5. The company expects the offering will reduce interest expense for the rest of the year by about $20 million in 2008.

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