Dean Foods and Suiza were the two largest bottlers and processors of milk in the United States. In 2001, they merged, with the approval of the Department of Justice.
The DOJ, however, required certain concessions to be made. The new Dean Foods would have to divest a handful of plants to the Dairy Farmers of America (a cooperative) and the two entities would have to agree to supply contracts that allowed DFA to supply Dean with milk for some of its plants.
The divested plants, as well as five others, were combined into a new competing company, National Dairy Holdings, which was owned by two former Suiza executives, a former business partner of DFA's chief executive officer, and DFA itself, which owned 50 percent of the company and had veto rights.