European fresh produce giant Total Produce has announced it is to merge with Dole Food Company, to create a new, US-listed company, Dole plc.
The move will create the world's largest fresh produce business, with an estimated combined 2020 revenue of $9.7 billion (€8.03 billion), adjusted EBITDA of $379 million and total assets worth $4.5 billion.
In a statement, Total Produce said that the merger will 'simplify the existing structure between the two companies by unifying Dole and Total Produce under common ownership', with the groups hoping to achieve full operational integration, greater synergies and value creation.
'Dole plc will be well positioned to deliver attractive long-term growth and utilise its increased size and network to drive market penetration and cross-selling,' the company said. 'Dole plc will benefit from the strength of the Dole brand to further expand its product offering and pursue synergistic M&A in a fragmented and structurally growing industry.'
Total Produce, together with shareholders Castle & Cooke, Inc currently own 55% of Dole's parent company, Dole Holdings.
Under the terms of the agreement, Total Produce shareholders will receive 82.5% of Dole plc shares and Castle & Cooke, Inc will receive 17.5% of Dole plc shares.
Dole plc will be incorporated in Ireland, with its global headquarters in Dublin, while its US headquarters will be in Charlotte, North Carolina.
"I am confident the combined business will open new avenues of value creation for shareholders and pursue innovation in healthy nutrition for our customers worldwide," said Carl McCann, Total Produce chairman.
“Our intention to list the new company in the United States marks an exciting next step for Dole plc. The combined company will become the largest global player with over 170 years of history in fresh produce in both companies, a highly diversified portfolio, resilient earnings and a strong balance sheet that positions us well for accelerated growth."
The transaction is subject to approval by Total Produce shareholders, regulatory approvals, market conditions and customary conditions.
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