Dairy mainstay Borden files for Chapter 11 in Delaware

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Borden, home of advertising icon Elsie the Cow, has filed forreorganization in Delaware under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.

The company, one of the best-known brands in the dairy business, will pursue a financial restructuring designed to reduce its current debt load. Borden plans to continue operating in the ordinary course of business, under the court’s supervision. Borden is based in Dallas.

“Borden is EBITDA-positive and growing, but we must achieve a more viable capital structure,” saidBorden CEO Tony Sarsam. “This reorganization will strengthen our position for future prosperity. Over the past 163 years, we have earned the distinction of being one of the most well-recognized and reputable national brands. We remain committed to ‘The Borden Difference,’ which is our promise to be the most service-oriented dairy company that puts people first. We will continue serving our customers, employees and other stakeholders and operating business as usual throughout this process.”

The company has brought back Elsie the Cow as a corporate mascot and has reported rising sales, but is struggling with changing tastes, a heavy debt load and dairy farmers exiting the business.

Borden rival Dean Foods earlier filed for Chapter 11 protection.

“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,” Sarsam explained. “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.”

Borden has 3,300 employees.

For additional information about the reorganization, visit www.bordenfinancialreorg.com.

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