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KKR, Capitol Peak Partners partner to win Borden Dairy bid

TAGS: Business
Borden Dairy borden dairy farm to families FDS.jpg
Hearing to approve sale of undisclosed amount scheduled for June 19.

KKR & Co. and Capitol Peak Partners, a firm led by the former chief executive officer of Dean Foods, have partnered to place the winning auction bid for bankrupt Borden Dairy Co.

Court documents show that New Dairy Opco LLC -- a joint venture between Capitol Peak Partners, led by Gregg Engles, and KKR, which held Borden’s largest loan -- won the auction for substantially all of the assets for an undisclosed amount.

A hearing to approve the sale was scheduled for June 18 but was rescheduled for June 19.

Borden announced Jan. 6 that it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, just months after Dean Foods filed for bankruptcy.

Borden chief executive officer Tony Sarsam said at the time of the filing: "Despite our numerous achievements during the past 18 months, the company continues to be impacted by the rising cost of raw milk and market challenges facing the dairy industry. These challenges have contributed to making our current level of debt unsustainable. For the last few months, we have engaged in discussions with our lenders to evaluate a range of potential strategic plans for the company. Ultimately, we determined that the best way to protect the company, for the benefit of all stakeholders, is to reorganize through this court-supervised process."

In the bankruptcy filing, Borden said it began experiencing financial distress in the early 1990s. In 1995, KKR purchased Borden for $2 billion and became a private company. However, Borden Inc. underwent a series of reorganizations over the following decade, which ultimately resulted in KKR selling off many of the divisions and brands of Borden Inc. to various buyers.

In July 2017, Borden entered into a Credit Agreement with PNC Bank, Franklin Square Holdings LP and KKR, but the terms proved to “severely limit” the company’s ability to produce positive net income. Borden said the liabilities and their impact on net income significantly impaired its ability to pursue its strategic plan, including potential transactions with third parties.

“Borden has insufficient liquidity to run its core business, to invest in core elements of its operations to mitigate ongoing secular headwinds or to make necessary investments to sustainably grow earnings,” the company said in the initial filing.

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