PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The owners of the Southwest Portland institution Alpenrose Dairy are reportedly planning to sell the business to a competing Seattle-based company.
The company is finalizing a sale to Smith Brothers Farms of Kent, Washington and could close within a month, according to Alpenrose’s co-president Rod Birkland.
The Smith Brothers told Birkland they’d like to retain 150 employees, but they will have to reapply under the new company.
“Our goal is to maintain business continuity, with little to no impact on customers of both companies,” says Smith Brothers Farm CEO Dustin Highland.
The business will continue to operate out of Alpenrose’s Portland location.
“Today’s news strengthens the ability of two mid-sized dairies to compete and grow in a competitive dairy industry,” said Highland. “It provides us new opportunities for market expansion while preserving and strengthening the beloved Alpenrose brand.
The facilities around the track like the Velodrome, the stadium, Dairyville and Christmasland are not included in the sale.
Several attempts to sell the dairy have failed in the past — partially due to agreements not being quite right and partially due to disagreements among Alpenrose’s owning family.
This new sale comes shortly after a lawsuit was filed by the great-great-grandchildren of Alpenrose’s founder. The lawsuit was an attempt to stop the sale from happening altogether but was dropped when the sale was called off.
“We filed a lawsuit to prevent a sale that would have ended Alpenrose Dairy as we and the community know and love,” said a statement issued by lawyer Joe Mabe of Slinde Nelson on behalf of the siblings who filed the suit, Carl Cadonau, Cary Cadonau, and Tracey McKinnon.
Birkland told KOIN that an agreement with the Smith Brothers has now been reworked. He said he believes the company would be stronger by being combined with this other business.
“We think it’ll be better for all our employees,” he said. “So many diaries stay a little too long if you know what I mean. They run completely down, and then they have no choices. We still have choices.”
Both of these family-owned dairy companies have been up and running for over a century and share similar values.
“We have found a like-minded buyer in Smith Brothers Farms,” said Birkland. “During our discussions, we learned how much we both care about our employees, quality, customer service, our communities, and the Pacific Northwest dairy farmers and producers.”
The price of the sale has not been disclosed.
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