WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CALIF. — Itochu Corp. has completed its purchase of the worldwide packaged foods and Asia fresh businesses of Dole Food Co., Inc. for $1.685 billion.
The transaction results in a major portion of Dole’s operations and assets being sold, including rights to the Dole brand on certain packaged food products worldwide and on certain fresh produce in Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
“This transformative transaction results from our comprehensive strategic review of Dole’s businesses announced May 3, 2012, aimed at enhancing shareholder value and was approved by our stockholders Dec. 6, 2012,” said David H. Murdock, chairman and chief executive officer of Dole. “The Dole operations will no longer include the worldwide packaged foods and Asia fresh businesses, which for fiscal 2011 represented approximately 34% of Dole’s revenues and 56% of its operating income.”
Dole said it will now have a smaller footprint as a commodity produce company with overall revenue around $4.2 billion in fresh fruit and fresh vegetables. The company has a new capital structure that was used to pay off $1.7 billion in debt as well as to pay for transaction-related taxes, costs and expenses as well as to pay for the extinguishment of all its long-term Japanese yen hedges and a European Commission fine. The new structure also will provide funding for the anticipated right-sizing of the new Dole and other post-closing restructuring expenses and the possible resolution of the Honduras tax case.
“We are pleased to announce Dole’s new credit facility with five of our banking partners, which includes a $500 million term loan and a $150 million revolving credit facility,” said C. Michael Carter, president and chief operating officer. “The new credit facility provides needed flexibility to enhance shareholder value and to meet future competitive challenges as we launch the new Dole.”