Murdock Offers to Take Dole Private, Again

David Murdock, chairman and CEO of Dole Food Co., Westlake Village, Calif., has offered to buy all outstanding shares of the company and take it private – again – just as he did in 2003.

Murdock and his family already own 39.5 percent of the stock. He offered $12 per share in cash, an 18 percent premium over the stock price the day before his offer. That would value the company at just over $1 billion.

When Murdock last took over Dole in 2003, he held 24 percent of the company's stock and paid $33.50 a share, or $1.4 billion, for the remainder, while also assuming about $1 billion in debt, reports the Los Angeles Times. In 2009, he took the company public in its second initial public offering. Since then, the company has had difficulties. In 2012, Dole’s continuing operations reported sales of $4.2 billion, down 11 percent from the prior year. And this April, the company sold its global packaged foods and Asia fresh foods businesses to Japanese firm Itochu Corp. for nearly $1.7 billion. The divisions represented a third of Dole's revenue and more than half of its operating income.

Murdock, who had served as chief executive from July 1985 through June 2007, was reinstated at that point after David DeLorenzo stepped down from the post to help Itochu run its new businesses.

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