Total Produce, the Irish fresh fruit and vegetable supplier which was spun out of Fyffes, has announced it will merge with US fruit and vegetable giant Dole Foods to create a new company called Dole plc.
The new venture will be listed on a US stock market.
As part of the deal, Total Produce will end its listing on the Euronext exchange in Dublin and the London stock exchange.
Total Produce already owns 45% of Dole Foods, having paid $300m (€250m) in 2018 to acquire a minority stake in the business. It’s understood Total Produce has paid a further $250m (€207m) for the remaining 55% stake in the business.
Under the terms of the merger, shareholders in Total Produce will receive 82.5% of the shares in the new entity, Dole plc. The remainder of shares in the new company will be owned by Castle & Cooke, a group based in Los Angeles.
The newly created entity , Dole plc, will be the clear global leader in the fresh produce sector, with estimated revenues of just under $9.7bn (€8bn), profits of $379m (€315m) and net assets of $4.5bn (€3.7bn).
Although it will float on a US stock market, Dole plc will have its global headquarters in Dublin. As part of the merger, Dole plc plans to raise $500m to $700m (€415m to €580m) in cash to deleverage its balance sheet.
Shares in Total Produce surged 30% on the back of the news. Carl McCann, chair of Total Produce, said the merger would open new avenues of value creation for shareholders.