Dole sets closing date for Itochu agreement

by Monica Watrous
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WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CALIF. — Dole Food Co., Inc. has announced an April 1, 2013, completion date for the sale of its worldwide packaged foods and Asia fresh produce businesses to Japan-based Itochu Corp. for $1.685 billion.

“The new Dole will have a smaller footprint as a commodity produce company with overall revenue in the $4.2 billion range with two lines of business: fresh fruit and fresh vegetables,” said David H. Murdock, chairman of Dole.

Itochu will have exclusive rights to the Dole trademark on packaged food products worldwide and on fresh produce in Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

As part of the agreement, David A. DeLorenzo, president and chief executive officer of Dole, will assume a full-time position leading the management team of the Itochu-acquired businesses through the closing date, after which he will join Itochu in a senior management role overseeing the businesses. Mr. DeLorenzo and Joseph S. Tesoriero, executive vice-president and chief financial officer of Dole, have both stepped down from their positions, effective on the closing date. Mr. Murdock has returned to the role of chief executive officer, and C. Michael Carter has assumed the added role of president and chief operating officer.

Dole’s worldwide packaged foods segment produces canned pineapple, canned pineapple juice, fruit juice concentrate, fruit in plastic cups, jars and pouches, fruit parfaits, healthy snack foods and frozen fruit. Dole’s Asia fresh produce unit grows and distributes fresh fruit and vegetables primarily in Asia.
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