Dairy Farmers of American and Dean Foods announced the withdrawal of a plan for DFA to purchase Dean assets. 

DFA remains in the running to purchase Dean assets, but the move allows for a competitive bidding process. 

In a statement, Dean Foods says, “by avoiding unnecessary litigation regarding procedure and bid protections for DFA, all parties involved, including DFA, will focus on developing competitive and value-maximizing bids.” 

The Kansas City Business Journal Reports DFA, based in Kansas City, remains in the running to buy the nation’s largest milk processor, but it no longer has an inside track. 

Dean Foods filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November, and will have its assets sold in a court-administered auction process.  

In February, DFA made an offer to buy Dean Foods for $425 million-plus the assumption of various liabilities. 

Officials with Dean and DFA said Friday that they mutually agreed to withdraw the request that DFA’s bid be considered the baseline.