Total Produce has announced that it will be buying a 45% share of fresh fruit rival Dole in a deal reported to be worth US$300 million. A spokesperson for Total Produce said that the deal was motivated by the firm’s expectation that demand for fresh fruit and vegetables will grow strongly in line with the trend towards health eating and snacking.
The deal brings together two of the world’s biggest fresh produce companies and represents a continuation of the Total Produce’s expansion strategy.
“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,” said chairman of Total Produce, Carl McCann, who added: “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.”
As part of the agreement, Total Produce will enjoy equal board representation. David H Murdock will continue to be chairman of Dole, while Carl McCann will become its vice-chairman. Dole is the leading producer of bananas in North America and number-three in Europe and holds the number two and number three spots for pineapples in North America and Europe. From January to October 2017, Dole’s revenues totalled $4.5 billion.