Total Produce chief sees good times ahead with Dole deal

Total Produce shares tumble in London as Dole cuts IPO price range

Fresh Fruit Portal

Dole Plc on Wednesday slashed the marketed price range for its initial public offering (IPO) in the U.S., a move that reduced the fruit and vegetable grower’s targeted valuation by more than $400 million.

The company said it plans to price its shares between $16 and $17 apiece, compared with the previous range of $20 and $23 per share. It would be valued at US$1.7 billion at the top end of the new range, down from US$2.1 billion, Reuters reports. Dole, however, increased the size of its offering to about 30.3 million shares from 26 million shares. This means the company would be able to raise up to $515 million instead of the previously expected maximum of $598 million.

The company was formed earlier this year through the merger of Ireland’s Total Produce PLC and Dole Food Company Inc, with the IPO being one of the final pieces of the deal.

The merger also led to the departure of Dole’s 98-year-old billionaire owner David Murdock who had been at the helm since the 1980s.

The company plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “DOLE.”

London-listed shares in Total Produce – which previously owned a 45 percent stake in Dole Food Co fell Wednesday after the IPO price cut.

Fruit-and-vegetable giant Dole PLC is the result of a merger between Ireland-based Total Produce and its 45%-owned Dole Food Co. The companies in February agreed to combine under a newly created, U.S.-listed company.

London-listed shares in Total Produce at 0733 GMT were down 12% at 185 pence.

Total Produce said it has agreed with affiliates of Castle & Cooke Inc., which owns the remaining 55% of Dole Food Co., that there will be no secondary offering by C&C shareholders in the IPO and that all of the IPO proceeds will be for Dole PLC.

Total Produce said its shareholders’ ownership in Dole PLC will be reduced to 57.1% from 61.5% after the IPO. Shares in Total Produce will be suspended from trading on Euronext Growth and London’s AIM market on Friday, the company said.



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