Dole Food Co. agreed to a higher takeover offer from Chairman and Chief Executive Officer David Murdock in a deal that now values the fresh fruit and vegetable producer and marketer at $1.21 billion.
Murdock raised his offer to $13.50 a share in cash, the Westlake Village, California based company said in a statement today. That’s a 13 percent boost from the $12 a share Murdock, 90, offered in June for the 60 percent of the company not already owned by him or his family.
The transaction will be paid for with cash and equity contributed by Murdock as well as financing from Deutsche Bank AG, Bank of America Corp. and the Bank of Nova Scotia. The deal, expected to close during the fourth quarter, includes a 30-day “go-shop” period during which the board may consider alternate proposals, Dole said.
Murdock, who served as CEO between 1985 and 2007, returned to the role in February. He took the company private once before, in 2003, and has said he wants to do so again to remove “the concern that a public company must have for the investing public’s short-term expectations.”
Dole rose 5 percent to $13.45 at 9:39 a.m. in New York. The shares have gained 32 percent since Murdock’s initial offer was announced.