As Dole Food Co. prepares to go public again, it has decided to make the transition without one of its local crops – berries.
The Westlake Village-based grower of fresh fruit and vegetables, which has been liquidating assets to help reduce its massive debt, has officially stepped out of its Southern California strawberry business as part of a greater effort to restructure and sell off parts of its overall berry product segment.
In another move that will give it non-farm revenue, Dole is hoping to trade its non-income generating headquarters for the income-generating Dole Plantation in Hawaii, the site of a popular tourist business and owned by Dole’s director and owner David H. Murdock under his more diverse business, Castle & Cooke Inc.
The company also is exploring a private sale in lieu of the public offering, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed sources. The first round of bids were due early this month, the newspaper reported, noting that private-equity firms had expressed interest.
Dole was No. 4 on the Business Journal’s list last year of largest private companies in Los Angeles County as ranked by 2015 revenue at $4.5 billion.
Carol Lawrence from the San Fernando Valley Business Journal contributed to this story.