The sun shines over the Golden
Guernsey Dairy on Jan. 7. Bankruptcy trustee Charles
Stanziale has several tours of the facility planned
within the next few weeks for prospective buyers.
Freeman file photo
WAUKESHA - It’s been three weeks since the city was
shocked by Golden Guernsey’s sudden closure, but
bankruptcy trustee Charles Stanziale is reportedly doing
everything he can to find a buyer and get the plant up
and running again.
“As soon as he was
assigned the trustee, he began aggressively seeking potential
purchasers,” said Jeffrey Testa, Stanziale’s representative at New
Jersey-based law firm McCarter & English. “His No. 1 goal is to sell the
plant as a turnkey operation to another entity that’s going to go in
there and operate, and hopefully create jobs to replace the ones that
Testa said Stanziale
has been approached by some interested potential buyers, and that he has
reached out to some as well. He also said Stanziale has hosted one tour
of the site and has several others scheduled in the coming weeks.
“It’s a great
opportunity for a buyer,” Testa said. “The bankruptcy sales process
would offer a potential purchaser the ability to purchase the facility
free and clear of any liens, claims and encumbrances pursuant to an
order from the bankruptcy court.”
The plant’s former
owner, a California-based capital firm called OpenGate, announced two
weeks ago that the 83-year-old Golden Guernsey plant was filing for
Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Delaware. OpenGate CEO Andrew Nikou issued a
statement that blamed operating expenses, the union and a pressure to
lower prices for the decision.
The sudden Jan. 5
closure left more than 100 employees scrambling to search for new
employment, health insurance and more.
To that end, the
Workforce Development Center is hosting a Golden Guernsey-specific job
fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today and dozens of employers from across
the state and region will be in attendance.
In the meantime, Testa
said he wants to ensure the community that Golden Guernsey is in good
hands moving forward.
Both he and Stanziale
have handled high-profile bankruptcy cases ranging from Tower Airlines
to Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts and beyond.
“We’ve been doing this
for a long time and are experienced in very large settlements,” Testa
Also, the men
facilitated the donation of thousands of gallons of Golden Guernsey milk
to local charities and allowed former employees to return to the plant
for their personal effects this week.