US fresh fruit and vegetables producer and marketer Dole Food Company Inc (NYSE:DOLE) on Tuesday said it had received a buyout offer at $12.00 (€9.03) a share from its chairman and CEO David H Murdock and will start a process to consider it.
The company said it would meet over the next several days to set up a special committee to study the unsolicited offer.
Murdock, owner of nearly 40% in Dole, also announced the proposal, saying it gives the company a total enterprise value of some $1.5bn, a 10.2 multiple of Dole’s anticipated EBITDA and a premium of 18% to its closing price on 10 June.
The buyer aims for a binding agreement being sealed by 31 July, he said, adding that his offer is conditioned on the board’s independent directors backing it and the acceptance by Dole shareholders holding a majority of the shares not owned by him.
Murdock engaged Deutsche Bank AG (ETR:DB1) as advisor, he said, expressing confidence that he would be able to secure debt financing which together with own funds would suffice to cover the price.