In a statement, Greenyard revealed it is in “advanced” discussions over a possible deal.
While Greenyard noted that a deal has not yet been finalised, the group did add that it has finance in place. “At this stage, a definitive agreement has not been reached, and there can be no assurance that these negotiations will culminate in a transaction between the two companies. Greenyard has secured appropriate financing, and is confident in its ability to complete the transaction with a balanced financing approach should a definitive agreement be reached.”
A spokesperson for the company told FoodNavigator that further details will be provided as appropriate. “Greenyard is to provide further comment related to this potential combination when there is news to share,” the spokesperson noted.
Fruit and veg giant
If the deal does go through, it will result in the formation of a company with annual revenues of around €8bn.
Greenyard, which was formed by a merger with Univeg, has operations in 25 countries and annual sales of €4.25bn. Last fiscal, Dole reported revenue of about $4.5bn. The company is one of the world’s largest suppliers of pineapples and bananas.
An acquisition of Dole would extend Greenyard’s geographic reach, particularly in North America. The Belgium company’s operations are currently primarily focused on Europe. The group’s largest market is Germany, where it generates 31% of sales, followed by the Netherlands and Belgium, which account for 23% and 10% of total group revenue respectively.
“From a strategic point of view, the acquisition would make sense creating a large player in both Europe and America,” KBC analysts said in a note to investors.
The Greenyard bid comes several months after Dole filed its intention to launch a public offering for $100m shares in April. Chairman David Murdock took Dole private four years ago. However, this was contested move by existing shareholders in lawsuits that were settled earlier this year.