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Dole confirms Itochu buy-out

Last updated on 18-Sep-2012 at 21:07 GMT2012-09-18T21:07:04Z

Dole Food has reached an agreement with Itochu Corporation of Japan to sell its packaged goods and Asia Fresh Produce businesses for US$1.69bn in cash.

As reported last week by FoodNavigator-Asia, the transaction results from Dole’s previously announced strategic business review process, and is now subject to Dole stockholder approval and customary regulatory approvals across multiple countries.

Cash proceeds from the transaction will be used by Dole for debt reduction, to pay deal-related expenses, and for restructuring and other corporate purposes.

Dole Worldwide Packaged Foods produces a range of products from canned pineapples to healthy snack foods and frozen fruit. Dole Asia Fresh Produce grows, sources, ships and distributes fresh fruit and vegetables, principally in Asia. The combined revenue of these businesses totaled approximately $2.5bn in 2011.

"When we announced our strategic business review in May, we stated that we would review a broad range of strategic alternatives for our businesses with the goal of enhancing shareholder value,” said David A. DeLorenzo, Dole’s president and CEO.

"We believe this proposed transaction accomplishes that. We are realising a premium valuation for our worldwide packaged foods and Asia fresh produce businesses and will retain a strong fresh produce business that has increased financial flexibility to grow."

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