* To raise up to $500 million in IPO
* Intends to list under the symbol 'DOLE' on NYSE
* Had $7.6 billion of revenue in 2008
(Adds company details, CHICAGO dateline)
CHICAGO, Aug 14 Dole Food Co Inc, the world's
largest producer of fresh fruits and vegetables, filed with
U.S. regulators on Friday to raise up to $500 million in an
initial public offering of common stock.
A prospectus filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission did not reveal how many shares the company planned
to sell or their expected price.
Dole, founded in 1851, intends to list its common stock on
the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "DOLE" and use
proceeds to pay down debt and for other corporate purposes.
Dole had 2008 revenue of $7.6 billion and net income of
Rival Chiquita Brands International Inc CQB.N had revenue
of $3.6 billion and a net loss of $323.7 million in 2008, while
Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc (FDP.N) had revenue of $3.53
billion and net income of $157.7 million.
In recent years, the fresh produce industry has benefited
from consumers' interest in eating healthier, while also
introducing more convenience-oriented, higher-margin products
such as prepared bags of salad and single-serving cups of fresh
Investor David Murdock bought a controlling interest in
Dole's predecessor company, Castle & Cooke Inc, in 1985, and
became chairman and chief executive. The company changed its
name to Dole in 1991 and divested most of its real estate
holdings in 1995, according to the securities filing.
In 2003, Murdock, who is listed in the filing as owning all
of Dole's common stock, took Dole private in a deal valued at
The company said Goldman Sachs & Co, BofA Merrill Lynch,
Deutsche Bank and Wells Fargo were underwriting the IPO.
(Reporting by Brad Dorfman in Chicago and Dhanya Skariachan in
Bangalore; Editing by Derek Caney and Steve Orlofsky)