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Dole Agrees To Be Taken Private

Dole Food Co. logo, Dole Fridge Packs

Company valued at $1.2B based on offer

Dole Food Co. Inc. has agreed to be taken private by 90-year-old Chairman and CEO David Murdock after he raised his offer to $13.50 per share, Reuters reports.

Murdock, who is Dole’s largest shareholder with a stake of about 40 percent, made an offer in June to buy the rest of the company for $12 per share.

Today’s offer, which values the company at about $1.2 billion, represents a 32 percent premium to Dole’s stock price before Murdock made his initial offer.

Dole shares were up 5 percent at $13.45 in morning trade on Monday, Reuters says. They were trading ahead of the $12 offer since it was first made on expectations of a higher bid.

The deal allows Dole a 30-day “go-shop” period, during which it can solicit alternate offers.

Murdock’s bid comes 10 years after he previously took the seller of bananas, pineapples, berries and packaged salads private for $2.5 billion. The company was, however, much bigger then.

The deal will be financed by cash and equity contributed by Murdock, and through committed financing by Deutsche Bank, Bank of America and The Bank of Nova Scotia, the company says.

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