WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CALIF. — The Dole Food Co. confirmed on Sept. 12 it is in “advanced negotiations” with Itochu Corp., Tokyo, to sell certain non-core assets. On Sept. 13 Itochu said it is negotiating the terms of its acquisition of Dole’s fruit and vegetable business in Asia and the global processed foods business held by Dole.
Itochu also announced it is in the process of creating a company to acquire the Dole assets and manage the transition.
In May, Dole announced it was conducting a strategic business review, and in late July the company said it was exploring the sale of its worldwide packaged foods business.
The Dole Food Co. consists of three divisions: Fresh Fruit, Fresh Vegetables and Packaged Foods. The 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.
Fruit for the business unit is sourced primarily in the Philippines, Thailand, the United States and China, and packed primarily in four Asian canneries, two in Thailand and two in the Philippines.
During the July strategic review update, David DeLorenzo, president and chief executive officer, said selling the combination of Dole’s worldwide packaged foods business and its operations in Asia was an option that had emerged during the review.
Itochu Corp. has investments in a variety of industries, including textile, machinery, metals, minerals, energy, chemicals and food. Its food holdings feature companies such as Prima Meat Packers, Japan Foods Co., Itochu Sugar and Yayoi Foods.