February 23, 2024
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Dole down 9.4% in first day on NYSE


Westlake Village-based Dole is publicly traded once again, after raising $400 million in a July 30 initial public offering.

The IPO was a bit of a letdown for Dole. The company priced its shares at $16 only to see them open at $15 and then drop to $14.50 by the end of the trading day, a decline of 9.4%. At that closing price, Dole has a market capitalization of about $1.35 billion.

The $400 million Dole raised was well below the range of $500 million to $700 million the company was expecting when it filed for the IPO in April. The share price was lower than anticipated, and the number of shares also shrunk, from 30.3 million to 25 million.

The IPO was announced when the Irish company Total Produce acquired Dole in April. The combined company is known as Dole PLC, and is the largest producer of fresh produce in the world, with revenue of nearly $10 billion in 2020.

The company now trades on the New York Stock Exchange as DOLE. This was the third IPO for Dole, which was most recently publicly traded from 2009 until 2013, when then-Chairman and CEO David Murdock bought all of the shares for $1.2 billion. Murdock had already taken Dole private once before, in 2003.

The Total Produce merger and the July 30 IPO mark an exit for Murdock, at the age of 98. For the first time since he bought Dole in 1985, he does not have a seat on the board, a management position, or a controlling share of the company.

Murdock is still Dole’s biggest individual shareholder. His trust owned 14.5% of Dole before the IPO, according to the company’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. That share is now 10% after the IPO, and is worth about $135 million. He had previously sold 45% of Dole to Total Produce in 2018, for $300 million, according to SEC filings.

Murdock is one of the richest people in the tri-county region, with a net worth of $2.1 billion in 2020, according to Forbes.

Note: This article was updated Aug. 11 to correct a mistake in the first sentence. Dole’s IPO raised $400 million, not $400 billion.