Is there hope for Golden Guernsey?
Bankruptcy trustee “aggressively seeking potential purchasers”

By Sarah Pryor - Freeman Staff

January 26, 2013

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 were lost.”

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 said.

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.