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.
Total Produce marked this year’s United Nations World Environment Day with the launch of its first group-wide Sustainability Report. The report outlines the company’s strategic approach to sustainability, including the progress that has been made to date, the path forward and a selection of the company’s international sustainability initiatives.
The group’s chief executive, Rory Byrne, said, “For companies such as Total Produce, expectations are clear. We must be uncompromising in the pursuit of best practices and responsible in our consumption of fragile natural resources. We must respectfully, and constructively, engage with the communities in which we work.”
Byrne stressed the fact that fresh produce, as well as being among the healthiest of food products, also has among the lowest environmental footprints. However, he said that the publication served “to detail, clearly and transparently, how we strive to meet and exceed these expectations and prove ourselves worthy of the responsibility entrusted to us by consumers worldwide.”
World Environment Day took place on 5th June. According to Total Produce, the day “brings into sharp focus the critical role we all have to play in conserving the natural world around us. For Total Produce, the launch of this report represents just another step on our ongoing journey towards being an ever more sustainable business.”
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.
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.