Dole Food

(DOL) - Get Report

agreed to be taken private in a $33.50-a-share leveraged buyout by CEO David H. Murdock.

The company's board accepted the sweetened offer, which is $4 a share better than one it rejected from Murdock in October, by unanimous vote. The shares closed Wednesday at $28.45 and were recently up 15% to $32.70 on Instinet. Murdock currently owns about one-quarter of the outstanding shares.

According to the company, Deutsche Bank, Scotia Capital and Bank of America are in commitment letters to contribute to financing that will include $1.15 billion of senior secured credit facilities and up to $450 million of new debt securities.

The company also said it had settled shareholder suits brought in the wake of Murdock's original buyout offer.

Dole had 2001 revenue of $4.4 billion and is the world's largest producer and marketer of fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers.