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Murdock to take Dole private in $1.6 billion deal

City News Service | 8/12/2013, 2 p.m.
Dole Food Co. Inc. chief executive David H. Murdock announced a deal today to acquire all outstanding shares of the ...

Dole Food Co. Inc. chief executive David H. Murdock announced a deal today to acquire all outstanding shares of the Westlake Village-based publicly traded firm for $13.50 per share — a deal worth about $1.6 billion.

The $1.50 per-share-price is an increase from the offer Murdock delivered to Dole on June 10 and a 32 percent premium over the $10.20 price just before the offer.

Dole’s board unanimously agreed to the deal in which Murdock will take the company private. The transaction is subject to conditions, such as approval by at least a majority of the outstanding shares of common stock held by stockholders other than Murdock and his affiliates.

The financing will come through a combination of cash and equity from Murdock, as well as financing from Deutsche Bank, Bank of America and The Bank of Nova Scotia.

The transaction, which also is subject conditions such as receipt of required regulatory approvals, provides a “go-shop” period of 30 days during which Dole’s special board committee, with the help of financial adviser Lazard, will actively solicit, receive, evaluate and potentially enter into negotiations with parties that offer alternative proposals.

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

Dole had 2012 revenues of $4.2 billion and is one of the world’s largest producers and marketers of fruit and vegetables.