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January 3, 2013
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.Dole Food Company, Inc., expects to finalize the sale of its worldwide packaged foods and Asia fresh businesses to Japan-based Itochu Corp. by early 2013. The $1.685 billion cash transaction is awaiting regulatory approval in China, but has garnered the required regulatory approvals from six countries involved in the deal.
After weeks of active engagement, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce officially accepted our antitrust filing on Dec. 11, 2012, and promptly met with Dole and Itochu officials. A dedicated MOFCOM case team is focused on our filing, with a simultaneous process of interagency consultation," said C. Michael Carter, Doles executive vice president and general counsel. We have been engaged in a very active dialogue with the Chinese regulatory agency, and we will continue to seek approval at the earliest date possible in 2013. We are confident that there are no competition issues that would complicate receiving antitrust approval in China."
Carter, who is assuming the added role of president and chief operating officer in connection with the sale transaction, said: We are pleased to announce that we are finalizing the written commitments from four of Doles banking partners for a new $400 million term loan and a $300 million revolving credit facility, to be implemented upon completion of the sale transaction."
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