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Limoneira to raise $40M in common stock offering

By   /   Monday, February 4th, 2013  /   Comments Off on Limoneira to raise $40M in common stock offering

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Limoneira Co., the Santa Paula-based agribusiness company with 8,200 acres of real estate and farm land, has announced plans to offer an additional 1.8 million shares of common stock.

If successful, the sale would raise about $40 million for Limoneira and increase its total shares outstanding to about 13.25 million. Limoneira’s traded shares, or “float,” would increase to about 10.2 million.

Limoneira shares traded down $1.68, or about 8 percent, to $20.26 after the Feb. 4 announcement. The additional shares would dilute existing shareholders and potentially reduce Limoneira’s earnings per share.

Janney Montgomery Scott is the lead underwriter for the offering, which is taking place under an existing “shelf” registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Limoneira said the proceeds from the stock sale could be used for a number of purposes including debt repayments, real estate development or land acquisition. As of Oct. 31, 2012, the company’s long-term debt totaled $108.3 million.

On Feb. 1, Limoneira announced city council and planning commission approvals for the annexation of its Santa Paula Gateway commercial real estate development project.

Approval of the Gateway project, which includes 350,000 square feet of new commercial development, is key to the final annexation of the larger East Area I project, which includes 1,500 residential units and amounts to one of the largest post-recession housing developments in Ventura County.

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