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Meadow Gold Hawaii milk company to continue under new owner

HONOLULU — Hawaii’s largest milk processor is expected to continue operating after its pending purchase by a California real estate investment firm.

The parent company of Meadow Gold Hawaii announced Thursday it reached an agreement in principal for the sale to Industrial Realty Group LLC.

Los Angeles-based Industrial Realty is expected to take over the company as an ongoing business from Dean Foods Co.

A purchase price was not disclosed by Dallas-based Dean Foods, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in November 2019.

A spokeswoman for Dean Foods said reports that Meadow Gold’s operations across Hawaii would close by the end of April were the result of confusion over the purchase agreement.

“Since there appeared to be no interest in the Hawaii business, it was communicated that we were going to have to close the business. Thankfully, this has since changed,” Anne Divjak of Dean Foods said.

The sale is subject to approval by a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge. Dean Foods expects the sale of Meadow Gold and numerous other subsidiaries to close by the end of April.

The deal includes Meadow Gold facilities in Honolulu and Hilo. Industrial Realty is expected to partner with Hawaii-based 8 Cow Dairies to manage operations, Dean Foods said.

“We are committed to completing this transaction, and our previously announced sales, as quickly as possible, and we thank all of our employees for their continued patience, hard work and dedication,” Eric Beringause, Dean Foods president and CEO, said in a statement.

Meadow Gold bought Haleakala Dairy, the creator of the POG drink, in 1999. The dairy produced POG milk caps, which spawned a game that enjoyed widespread popularity in the 1990s.

Meadow Gold also created characters that became popular with Hawaii children including the Izard of POG, Kawika Moo and Lani Moo.

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