Dole plc has announced the sale of its Fresh Vegetables Division to an affiliate of Fresh Express Incorporated, a wholly owned subsidiary of Chiquita Holdings Limited, for approximately $293 million (€269 million).
The division reported revenue of $1.28 billion (€1.18 billion) in its financial year ended 31 December 2021.
It has agricultural operations, operates four processing plants across the United States and employs more than 3,000 people.
The Fresh Vegetables Division comprises operations related to the processing and sale of whole produce such as iceberg, romaine, leaf lettuces, cauliflower, broccoli, celery, asparagus, artichokes, green onions, sprouts, radishes, and cabbage, as well as salads and meal kits, Dole noted.
'Investments In Innovation'
Carl McCann, executive chairman of Dole plc said, "We are pleased to announce the sale of our Fresh Vegetables Division. Combining with Fresh Express will improve the offering and service to customers and consumers through increased investments in innovation, efficiencies, and food safety.
"We would like to thank the dedicated employees of this business for their valuable contributions over the years. We believe the sale of this division will strengthen our financial position and increase the Group’s focus on and investments in our core activities."
The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions.
Net proceeds from the sale will be used primarily for debt reduction of Dole, the company added.
Drive Growth In Produce Industry
Chairman of Chiquita Holdings Jose Luis Cutrale Jr, said, "With this transaction, we want to combine our best practices across food safety, the freshness of produce, mechanisation, automation, and innovation to offer rapidly expanding choices of safer and healthier produce products to the consumer.
"This combination will ultimately help drive growth in the entire produce industry and support higher demand for our valued produce grower base in California, Arizona, Colorado, Florida and across the entire USA."
Cost savings from the deal will help Chiquita Holdings partially mitigate the impact of recent inflationary pressures.
"We aim to bring an improved value proposition to the consumer while allowing us to better manage the shortage of agricultural and manufacturing labour, supply chain challenges and water issues. At the same time, we are striving to constantly reduce the carbon footprint of our products," he added.
©2023 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest fresh produce news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.