According to Reuters, Dole Food Co. Inc. said it agreed to be taken private by Chairman and CEO David Murdock after he raised his offer to $1.2 billion. The new offer of $13.50 represents a 32% premium to Dole’s stock price before Murdock made his initial offer of $12 per share in June.
Murdock’s attempts to buy the company comes 10 years after he took the seller of bananas, pineapples, berries, and packaged salads private for $2.5 billion. The company was listed again in 2009.
Dole has been struggling with volatile demand and low prices for bananas and sold its packaged foods and Asia fresh produce businesses to Itochu for $1.7 billion in April, shrinking its size by a third.
The proposed deal for Dole still requires approval from majority shareholders. The deal, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter, also allows Dole a 30-day “go-shop” period, during which it can solicit offers.