Dole Receives Approval From China To Sell Worldwide Packaged Foods And Asia Fresh Produce Business

Dole Food Company, Inc. (“Dole”) (NYSE: DOLE) today announced that ITOCHU Corporation (“ITOCHU”) and Dole received unconditional approval from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce to implement the sale of Dole’s worldwide packaged foods and Asia fresh produce business to ITOCHU.

“The Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China officially approved our antitrust filing, with no conditions or requirements, in a decision dated January 21, 2013,” said C. Michael Carter, Dole’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel. “We are grateful to the case team of China’s Anti-monopoly Bureau of MOFCOM for their professionalism and commitment to the timely review of our transaction with ITOCHU. We have now received all seven required regulatory approvals, and Dole expects to complete the sale within the next 30 days.”

Dole also announced fiscal year 2012 results for the two lines of fresh produce business that will remain with the new Dole following the consummation of the sale transaction: fresh fruit and fresh vegetables. The historical results of the Dole worldwide packaged foods and Asia fresh business being sold to ITOCHU are classified as discontinued operations.

Selected Financial Results from Continuing Operations (the two lines of fresh produce business remaining with the new Dole)
    Fiscal Year

December 29, 2012

December 31, 2011
(in millions)
Revenues, net $ 4,246.7 $ 4,778.4
Adjusted EBITDA 145.8 195.7
Income from continuing operations before income taxes and equity earnings 5.9 95.1


Revenues decreased 11% to $4.2 billion for the year ended December 29, 2012, primarily due to the divestitures of our fresh fruit subsidiaries in Germany and Spain, which represented $539 million of sales in 2011. Fresh fruit revenues, excluding the impact of the divestitures, decreased 2% as a result of lower pricing in North America bananas and unfavorable euro and Swedish krona foreign currency movements in Europe. This was partially offset by higher volumes of fresh pineapple sold and improved pricing for Chilean deciduous fruit. Fresh vegetables revenues increased 8% primarily due to improved pricing for packaged salads and sales from the October 2011 berry acquisition, which contributed $68 million to sales in 2012. This was partially offset by lower pricing for fresh-packed vegetables. Excluding the sales from the berry business acquisition, fresh vegetables revenues improved 3%.

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