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Total Produce combines with Dole Food Company to become sector’s largest player

Total Produce & Dole Food

Today Total Produce and Dole Food Company have announced a binding transaction agreement to combine under a newly created US-listed company: Dole PLC. This will make Dole PLC the world’s number-one fresh produce company with an estimated combined 2020 revenue of approximately US$9.7 billion, and total assets of approximately US$4.5 billion.

Total Produce acquired a 45% stake in Dole for US$300m in July 2018, and this transaction consideration for the remaining 55% stake equates to US$250m. The transaction will simplify the existing structure between the two companies by unifying Dole and Total Produce under common ownership, with the objective of enabling full operational integration, realisation of synergies and value creation across the enlarged business. Under the terms of the agreement, Total Produce shareholders will receive 82.5% of Dole PLC shares and the C&C shareholders will receive 17.5% of Dole PLC shares, in each case based on the fully diluted outstanding shares immediately prior to the completion of the Transaction.

 

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Dole and Zespri partner up in China

Dole and Zespri partner up in China

On 14 July, Zespri and Dole signed a strategic cooperation agreement in Shanghai, making Dole Zespri’s official distribution partner in China. The move is intended to support mutual development in this lucrative market.

Michael Jiang, general manager of Zespri Greater China, said, “We believe that Dole will provide a strong impetus for the sales growth of Zespri kiwifruits in China market and help Zespri to deepen our market structure.”

Dole has 12 distribution centres in China, handling over 90 references from 17 countries. The centres are all fitted with state-of-the-art pre-cooling, storage and computerised ripening facilities. 

Terry Chan, general manager of Dole China, said, “Zespri’s high quality requirement coincides with Dole’s core concept of ‘Quality is the foundation of our reputation’ and ‘Dole Sunshine For All’.”

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First Philippine avocados land in China

First Philippine avocados land in China

On 31st March, the first ever shipment of Philippine avocados (7,656 tons of Hass) was sent by Dole to China. A ceremony was held to mark the occasion on April 1st at a Dole processing and distribution centre in Shanghai, with local and Philippine dignitaries in attendance, as well as representatives of the sector. The opening of the Chinese market follows several other successful ventures for Dole in the East. In 2017, the company sent its avocados to the Middle East, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Hong Kong.

Philippine Hass avocados offer high quality at a low cost, almost all year round. The country’s relatively proximity to China also ensures greater freshness of the products. The avocados are currently being sold by Hema Fresh, the ‘new retail’ supermarket owned by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.

 

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Dole establishes presence in India

Dole establishes presence in India

 

Dole Packaged Foods Worldwide is to partner up with retailer Future Group to expand the brand’s presence in India, according to BusinessLine. Global president for Dole Packaged Foods, Pier-Luigi Sigismondi, underlined the significance of the move: “We do believe that globally speaking, we can double the size of our business in the next five years and that cannot happen without us playing a big role in India as well. India for us remains a very strategic market.” 

Future Group has over 750 stores in more than 30 Indian cities and will stock Dole products from December or January. For its part, Dole will be opening plants in India next year and is currently in discussions with companies in India to prepare for this.

 

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European Commission postpones ruling on Total Produce acquisition of Dole

dole total

The European Commission is to delay until July 30th its ruling on Total Produce’s €260m acquisition of a stake in Dole. The move comes after the Total Produce agreed to a number of concessions. The changes are believed to be minor. The EU’s competition watchdog had previously set July 16th as the initial deadline.

The Irish fresh produce distributor announced early this year its intended acquisition of a 45% stake in Dole, one of the world’s top producers of bananas and pineapples. To fund the deal, it is seeking to generate US$150m. If approval is obtained from US and EU regulators, a global conglomerate with combined sales of €8bn will be created. Total Produce has the option to fully acquire Dole in five years.

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Total Produce pursue continued growth

total produce

Despite having recently acquired a 45% stake in Dole, Total Produce is targeting even greater growth in 2018. The Dole transaction reflects a continuation of the group’s successful expansion strategy. However, unusual weather conditions and currency movements will restrict growth in the first half of the year.

On 1st February 2018, Total Produce entered into a binding agreement to acquire a 45% stake in Dole Food Company for US$300m. The deal remains subject to regulatory approval but is expected to be confirmed in the second half of 2018. The Dole acquisition was financed by the issuing of 63 million new ordinary shares, which raised $180 million. The results of the huge transaction will not be seen until 2019. A final dividend of 2.5 cents per share in 2018 represents a 10% increase on last year.

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Dole salad kits win innovation prize

Dole Chopped Salad Kits has been chosen from among nearly 3,500 consumer products for a Nielsen Breakthrough Innovation Award for 2016.

Dole Chopped Salad Kits has been chosen from among nearly 3,500 consumer products for a Nielsen Breakthrough Innovation Award for 2016.

In a press release, Nielsen said this year’s 18 award winners met its rigorous requirements for distinctiveness, relevance and endurance.

In Nielsen’s Breakthrough Innovation report this year, Dole vice president of marketing CarrieAnn Arias said Dole had set out to create a bagged salad that was not just good, it had to be ‘craveable’.

It also aimed to deliver a salad experience “that was indulgent…but not unhealthy.”

“We approached the challenge as one of enabling a restaurant-quality experience at home,” she said.

Dole experimented with 50-60 different ingredients and an even greater variety of dressings, Arias said, underlining how complex its product development process was.

It also paid close attention to packaging, finding that a narrower bag helped keep the ingredients better distributed vertically, making for a much better at-shelf visual than the standard pillow bag.

“We have now created a runaway success that is transforming the produce section – selling over $100 million in its second year and growing strong at more than 115% in the past year.

“One of our biggest challenges is to keep up with growth, not run out of kale (no joke!), and continue to innovate to address consumers’ increasing demand for more and different ‘craveable’ salads.

“We will continue to stay close with our consumers, who are extremely active on social media, collaborate with our retail partners, and monitor evolving trends in the restaurant scene,” she said.