Total Produce Takes Big Bite Of Dole

01 Feb 2018 | 08.31 am

Total Produce Takes Big Bite Of Dole

Fruit and veg giant buys 45% stake in US peer

01 Feb 2018 | 08.31 am

Total Produce plc is to buy a 45% stake in Dole Food Company for $300m (€242m), continuing an expansion programme which the company began to implement five years ago.

The deal will bring together two global brands and will create the world’s largest fruit and vegetable group. In 2017, Dole’s revenue was $4.5 billion. It is one of the world’s leading producers, marketers and distributors of fresh fruit and vegetables. Dole provides retail, wholesale and foodservice customers around the world.

Total Produce is buying its stake from Dole chairman David Murdock. He will remain chairman of the company, and Total Produce chairman Carl McCann will be vice-chair. The Dole management team will continue to operate its business, while Total Produce will have equal board representation.

To fund the $300m outlay, Total Produce has sold 63 million new shares in a Placing at a price of €2.30 per share, raising gross proceeds of circa €145m ($180m) before expenses. The Placing Shares represent 19% of the company’s share capital  prior to the Placing.

Chairman Carl McCann said: “We are delighted to have signed an agreement with Dole, long held in the highest regard as one of the world’s best fresh produce companies, with iconic brands dating back to 1851. I believe that this investment is the single most positive step in our company’s history. It places Total Produce at the forefront of our industry, and we anticipate it will create significant additional value for shareholders in the years ahead.”

Total Produce, spun out of Fyffes in 2007, has been increasing its presence in North America, including a recent acquisition of a 50% stake in California company The Fresh Connection. Last March the company increased its stake in Canadian firm Grandview Ventures also acquired a 65% share in Progressive Produce in Los Angeles.

 

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