Dublin-based multinational announces mutual termination of agreement with Fresh Express for the sale of the business

Dole vegetables salad

Dole has agreed with Fresh Express to terminate the agreement under which the latter would have acquired its Fresh Vegetables division. The move follows the US Department of Justice’s decision to pursue litigation to prevent the transaction.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Dole said: “While Dole strongly disagrees with the Department of Justice’s decision and continues to believe that the transaction was pro-competitive and would have unlocked ongoing benefits to customers and consumers, we remain confident that we will have an alternative path forward in the near term that is in the best interests of the Fresh Vegetables division’s employees, customers, and partners, and the Dole plc shareholders”.

In January 2023, Dole announced it had agreed to sell its Fresh Vegetables division to Fresh Express, part of the Chiquita Group, for US$293m in cash. The companies said the deal would help solve labour and inflation-related issues, increase innovation and create even stronger food safety programmes in salad kits and other categories, according to the companies.

Dole Fresh Vegetables sells whole and processed 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. The business has growing operations and four processing plants across the US and employs more than 3,000 people.