Dole sells fresh veg. division to Fresh Express
By Food in Canada StaffBusiness Operations Fruit & Vegetables Dole Editor pick Fresh Express
Dole enters into a definitive agreement to sell Dole’s fresh vegetables division to an affiliate of Fresh Express, a wholly owned subsidiary of Chiquita Holdings for gross proceeds of approximately US$293 million in cash, subject to certain adjustments.
The fresh vegetables division comprises operations related to the processing and sale of whole produce such as iceberg, romaine, leaf lettuces, cauliflower, broccoli, celery, asparagus, artichokes, green onions, sprouts, radishes, and cabbage, as well as salads and meal kits. In the financial year ended December 31, 2021, the fresh vegetables division reported revenue of US$1.28 billion. The business has agricultural operations and four processing plants across the United States and employs more than 3,000 people.
Net proceeds from the sale are currently expected to be primarily used for debt reduction of Dole.
“We are pleased to announce the sale of our fresh vegetables division. Combining with Fresh Express will improve the offering and service to customers and consumers through increased investments in innovation, efficiencies, and food safety. We would like to thank the dedicated employees of this business for their valuable contributions over the years. We believe the sale of this division will strengthen our financial position and increase the group’s focus on and investments in our core activities,” said Carl McCann, executive chair of Dole.
“The combination of both businesses, when consummated, will allow us to continue to create the best products under the Fresh Express umbrella. The anticipated cost savings from this combination will help partially mitigate the recent period of inflationary pressures experienced throughout the produce, food and beverage sectors of the economy,” added Jose Luis Cutrale Jr., Chiquita Holdings’ chair.
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