David H. Murdock, chairman and chief executive of Dole Food Co. in Westlake Village, is taking the produce company private in a deal valued at $1.21 billion.
The Los Angeles billionaire will pay $13.50 a share in cash for all the outstanding shares of common stock he doesn’t already hold. As of June, he and his family members owned nearly 40% of Dole shares.
The purchase, months in the making, comes after Murdock made a $12-a-share proposal in June. The transaction represents a 32% premium over the $10.20-a-share price at which the stock was trading just before the negotiations first became public.
The $13.50 sale price is 5.4% higher than Friday’s $12.81-a-share close.
The arrangement places the total enterprise value of Dole, plus debt, at $1.6 billion, according to the company. The business’ board, sans Murdock, unanimously approved the deal, which now needs to be cleared by stockholders and regulators.
Dole has the option of using a so-called “go-shop” period, in which it can spend 30 days weighing other offers.
Otherwise, the company said the deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.
Murdock, a mogul who recently sold the Hawaiian island of Lanai to Oracle honcho Larry Ellison, first took Dole private more than a decade ago before bringing it public in 2009.
This spring, Dole finalized the sale of its huge global packaged foods and Asia fresh foods segments to a Japanese firm for nearly $1.7 billion.
In morning trading in New York, Dole was up 5%, or 65 cents, to $13.46 a share.
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