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Calavo to raise up to $200M

By   /   Thursday, April 5th, 2012  /   Comments Off on Calavo to raise up to $200M

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Avocado marketer Calavo Growers said April 6 that it plans to raise up to $200 million in fresh capital by offering a mix of common stock and warrants for sale.

The Santa Paula-based company said in regulatory filings that it would offer a combination of shares of common stock and warrants to raise the funds. It did not say specifically how it would use the money, but said it may use the funds to reduce debt, as working capital, to make capital expenditures or to make acquisitions.

Last year, Calavo purchase Renaissance Food Group, supplier of supermarket deli-aisle items such as fresh wraps, salads and sandwiches, for $96 million.

“My goal is to get [Calavo] to $1 billion in sales in short order,” CEO Lee Cole told the Business Times following the June 2011 acquisition. The deal also started to move the company away from its core business of marketing avocados and other fruit to a more general food business model.

In the April 6 regulatory filing, Calavo said that it can have up to 100 million shares of common stock outstanding. As of the end of January, the company had 14.8 million shares of common stock outstanding. Its shares closed at $26.65 on April 6 after trading up 1.4 percent during the day.

Calavo earned $11.1 million, or 75 cents per share, last year, on sales of $522.5 million. Its first-quarter 2012 earnings were up 16 percent to $2.7 million after receiving a big revenue boost from the Renaissance business division. The firm said last month that its first-quarter results set the stage for a potentially record-breaking year.

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