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Article updated: 5/16/2013 9:53 AM

Lifeway Foods acquires Golden Guernsey plant

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Kefir cultured dairy products manufacturer Lifeway Foods, of Morton Grove, said it has acquired the Golden Guernsey dairy plant in Waukesha, Wis. for $7.4 million.

The company said it abought the dairy plant to provide additional manufacturing capacity for its business. Adding the 170,000-square-foot plant to Lifeway's existing 50,000-square-foot facility in Morton Grove will more than quadruple the company's production capacity and provide much-needed expansion abilities, the company said in a statement.

The Golden Guernsey plant was shuttered this past January following a bankruptcy filing, leaving 112 employees without jobs. Lifeway plans to reopen the plant this summer and rehire a portion of the workforce to staff the facility. The transaction is expected to close on June 10.

Sales of probiotic foods and supplements jumped 79 percent over the past two years, settling at $2.25 billion in July 2012, according to data from natural foods market research company Spins. Organic food sales in the U.S. jumped from $11 billion in 2004 to $27 billion in 2012, according to the Nutrition Business Journal, with growth in conventional grocery stores as well as natural foods markets.

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