Massachusetts-based Friendly’s Ice Cream is selling its manufacturing and retail operations to the country’s largest dairy processor for $155 million in cash.
The sale of the ice cream business to Dean Foods does not include the Friendly’s chain of more than 260 restaurants that will now be owned and operated separately.
Consumers are unlikely to notice any changes, according to Dennis Lombardi, a food services consultant.
" It is more of a financial deal more than anything else," said Lombardi in an interview.
In a press release, Texas-based Dean Foods said the ice cream will still be produced at a 45-year old plant in Wilbraham, just outside Springfield, where about 200 people work.
Dean also owns a milk processing plant in Lynn, Massachusetts.