WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CALIF. – David H. Murdock, chairman and chief executive officer of Dole Food Company, Inc., has entered a definitive agreement to acquire all outstanding shares of the company’s common stock for $13.50 in a transaction valued at approximately $1.6 billion, including the assumption of debt.
Mr. Murdock currently holds approximately 40% stake in Dole Food Co. The transaction, which is subject to stockholder and regulatory approval, will be financed through cash and equity from Mr. Murdock as well as financing by Deutsche Bank, Bank of America and The Bank of Nova Scotia. The agreement also includes a 30-day period during which other proposals may be considered. Pending no competing bids, the deal is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2013.
A committee of directors unanimously approved the agreement following Mr. Murdock’s original unsolicited offer in June to acquire the company for $12 per share.
With 2012 revenues from continuing operations of $4.2 billion, Dole is one of the world’s largest producers and marketers of fresh fruit and vegetables.After conducting a strategic business review last year, Dole sold a major portion of its operations and assets with the April divesture of worldwide packaged foods and Asia fresh businesses to Itochu Corp. in Japan for $1.685 billion.