Dole completes major asset sales

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Steven Maxwell

BY STEVEN MAXWELL

Dole completes major asset sales

The US fresh produce company has announced the sale of California orchards and cultivated land in Hawaii as part of a debt reduction programme

Dole completes major asset sales

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Dole Food Company has announced the completion of the sale of three major assets, including some 2,549ha of cultivated land, as the US produce group seeks to scale down its bank debt.

In a statement released this week, the California-based company said the recent asset sales comprised 809ha of Dole’s 11,331ha on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, some 1,740ha of California orchards in which Dole had a 65 per cent share, and the Miami headquarters building of the firm’s Fresh Flowers division.

As a result of the sales, Dole said it had received approximately US$100m in cash, which had been used against the company’s term bank debt of US$34m and revolving bank debt of US$66m. These sales bring Dole’s total asset sales for 2008 to date to approximately US$135m, said the group.

“Dole is pleased to have completed the three all-cash asset sales at favourable prices,” said Dole president and CEO David DeLorenzo. “We anticipate that we will complete additional significant asset sales in 2008, the proceeds of which will also be used to pay down debt.”

Dole, with 2007 net revenues of US$6.93bn, is one of the world’s largest producers and marketers of fresh fruit and vegetables and is the leading producer of organic bananas.

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