Dean Foods Co. said it commenced a review to explore and evaluate potential strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value. These alternatives could include, among others, continuing to execute on the company's business plan, including an increased focus on certain standalone strategic initiatives, the disposition of certain assets, the formation of a joint venture, a strategic business combination, a transaction that results in private ownership or a sale of the company, or some combination of these.

The Dallas-based company said it retained Evercore Group LLC to serve as a financial advisor to assist in the review. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is acting as the company's legal advisor.

"As one of America's largest dairy providers, Dean Foods is committed to delivering significant value to all our stakeholders, including our customers, consumers, shareholders, communities and employees," said Ralph Scozzafava, CEO of Dean Foods. "We are taking vital, transformative actions to maximize the benefits of our scale and position the company for the long term, including implementing an enterprise-wide cost-productivity plan and investing in core capabilities, technology, infrastructure, people and systems. As we seek to accelerate our business transformation and enhance shareholder value, the board has initiated a review of a range of potential strategic alternatives to best position the company for the future."

Dean Foods said it has not set a timetable for the conclusion of the review, nor has it made any decisions related to any potential strategic alternatives. There can be no assurance that the strategic exploration review will result in a transaction or other strategic change or outcome. The company said it does not intend to provide updates unless or until it determines that further disclosure is appropriate or necessary.