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CEO makes bid to take Dole private

A Dole vessel anchored in Ecuador. Dole CEO David Murdock is offering $13.50 per share for the company.

Guillermo Granja/Reuters/File 2012

A Dole vessel anchored in Ecuador. Dole CEO David Murdock is offering $13.50 per share for the company.

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — Dole Food said Monday that its CEO will take it private, in a deal that values the company at approximately $1.21 billion.

Dole shareholders will receive $13.50 per share, a 5 percent premium to its $12.81 Friday closing price. This is a sweetened bid for the fresh fruits and vegetable business, up from the $12 per share chairman and CEO David Murdock offered in June.

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The company put the transaction’s total value at about $1.6 billion, which includes debt.

Dole Food Company Inc.’s stock jumped 68 cents, or 5.3 percent, to close at $13.49 Monday.

Dole sold its packaged foods and Asia fresh business for $1.69 billion in a deal that closed in April. That allowed Dole to become solely an international commodity produce company, with a narrower focus that also makes its earnings more volatile.

Dole’s board unanimously approved the offer, which needs the approval of at least a majority of outstanding shares held by stockholders other than Murdock and his affiliates.

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