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Friendly's Sells Off Ice Cream Making Business

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Massachusetts-based Friendly’s Ice Cream is selling its manufacturing and retail operations to the country’s largest dairy processor for $155 million in cash.

The sale of the ice cream business to Dean Foods does not include the Friendly’s chain of more than 260 restaurants that will now be owned and operated separately. 

Consumers are unlikely to notice any changes, according to Dennis Lombardi, a food services consultant.

" It is more of a financial deal more than anything else," said Lombardi in an interview.

In a press release, Texas-based Dean Foods said the ice cream will still be produced at a 45-year old plant in Wilbraham, just outside Springfield, where about 200 people work. 

Dean also owns a milk processing plant in Lynn, Massachusetts.

Copyright 2016 WAMC Northeast Public Radio

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.