Sector News

Total Produce takes $300m bite of major US food firm Dole

February 1, 2018
Consumer Packaged Goods

Total Produce is to buy a 45 per cent stake in Dole Food Company for $300 million (€242 million) as it continues its expansion strategy.

The fresh produce company said it was a significant step in its history, bringing together two global brands and creating the world’s leading fruit and vegetable group. In 2017, Dole’s revenue was just under $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 the stake from current Dole chairman David Murdock. He will stay on as chairman of the company, with Total Produce chairman Carl McCann as vice chairman. The Dole management team would continue to operate the business, Total Produce said in a statement.

“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,” Mr McCann said in a statement. “I believe that this investment by Total Produce in Dole 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.”

The food distributor, which spun out of Fyffes in 2007, has been on the acquisition trail of late, particular in North America.

Total Produce has bee increasing its presence in North America recently. Its most recent acquisition was a 50 per cent stake in California company The Fresh Connection, which was announced in November.

In March the company announced it had upped its stake in the Canadian firm Grandview Ventures to 65 per cent, and last year it also acquired a 65 per cent share in Los Angeles-based Progressive Produce.

By Ciara O’Brien

Source: Irish Times

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