Moishe Mana is getting into the dairy business

Mana plans to invest millions of dollars into the business, his lawyer says

Moishe Mana (Credit: Romain Maurice/Getty Images for InList)
Moishe Mana (Credit: Romain Maurice/Getty Images for InList)

Real estate investor and developer Moishe Mana is adding a new business to his portfolio: dairy production.

Mana’s Mana Saves McArthur was named the winning bidder of Dean Foods’ South Florida facilities, including the McArthur Dairy plant at 6821 Northeast Second Avenue in Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood, and distribution centers in West Palm Beach and Fort Myers. The deals include the land, furniture, fixtures and equipment, trucks, trailers and other vehicles.

Dean Foods acquired McArthur in 1980, according to published reports. J. Neville McArthur founded the company in 1929, according to Dean Foods’ website.

Court records show Dean Foods filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November, as Americans’ consumption of dairy has declined over the years and non-dairy alternatives to milk have grown in popularity.

Mana’s $16.5 million purchase of the business is subject to final approval by the federal bankruptcy court in the Southern District of Texas. Dairy Farmers of America was named the winning bidder of a “substantial portion” of Dean Foods’ business operations for $433 million, also subject to final approval. The deals are expected to close by the end of April, according to a press release.

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The South Florida Business Journal first reported Mana’s deal.

Mana, who has his hands in a number of businesses, including logistics, document storage, fashion and arts, has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on real estate alone in downtown Miami, Wynwood and Allapattah over the past few years, though he has yet to deliver on his master plan.

He also owns a former McArthur Dairy site west of Wynwood at 2451 Northwest Seventh Avenue. Mana paid $8.5 million for that property in 2015.

In a letter filed on Monday, Mana’s lawyer, Bruce Fischman, said his businesses are valued at more than $3 billion. He said Mana plans to keep the dairy processing plant and distribution centers, acknowledging that McArthur Dairy is “currently a money losing operation” that will take “many millions of dollars to turn it around.”

The coronavirus pandemic interfered with “the smooth transition of information,” Fischman continued, noting a letter from Centennial Bank, a lender to Mana, that shows Mana’s financial wherewithal.