The world's largest producer of fresh fruit and vegetables plans an initial public offering of as much as $500 million. The proceeds will be used for paying off debt; the Westlake Village-based company had about $2 billion in debt as of June 20, according to a regulatory filing. The move is a turnabout for Dole, which was taken private in 2003 by company Chairman David Murdock. Goldman, Sachs, Bank of America, Deutsche Bank and Wells Fargo will underwrite the offering. From the Business Journal:
Best known for its bananas, pineapples and similar fresh fruit and vegetables, Dole in recent years has expanded into the higher-margin packaged food business, with a growing line of packaged salads, fruit bowls and similar products. Dole has been selling assets in recent months to pay down debt. It recently announced plans to sell some properties in Latin America for about $68 million.