For competitive reasons, southern California retailerStater Bros. Markets said it has agreed to sell its milk processing business,Santee Dairies Inc., City of Industry, Calif., to Dean Foods Co., Dallas. Terms were not disclosed. Jack Brown, chairman, president and CEO of Stater Bros. Holdings Inc., said he expects to complete the deal in about two months.

Noted Brown, "The future growth of Santee Dairies products was limited because most potential customers are competing supermarket chains that already operate their own dairies and have been advised by their parent corporations not to purchase products -- other than Knudsen fluid milk and Arnold Palmer Tee -- from Santee Dairies, which they feel would help with the expansion of Stater Bros. Markets."

Santee employs about 300 workers and has annual sales of more than $100 million, according to theLos Angeles Times. Brown said no layoffs are expected.