February 22, 2024
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Limoneira stock jumps with possible sale announcement

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Santa Paula-based Limoneira’s stock price has jumped about 24% since Dec. 1 when it announced it’s looking into selling some or all parts of the company to maximize value for its stockholders.

The 130-year-old company, one of Ventura County’s largest agribusinesses, said another possibility could be a merger.

Limoneira is a producer of lemons, avocados and other crops with 11,100 acres of agricultural lands, real estate properties, and water rights in California, Arizona, Chile and Argentina.

Limoneira Board Chair Scott Slater said in a press release that over the last 18 months, the company has “developed a strategic roadmap intended to enhance near and long-term shareholder value.” 

Slater said the company considers itself to be in a strong financial position, having recently reduced its net debt position and rightsized the balance sheet through its ongoing strategic shift towards an asset-lighter business model.

“Given the board’s belief that there is a disconnect between Limoneira’s public market value and the intrinsic value of our company’s underlying assets, the board believes it is the right time to explore all strategic options to prioritize the company’s growth and stockholder value,” Slater said.

Limoneira’s board has retained Stephens Inc. as its financial advisor and law firm Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP as its legal advisor to assist with the exploration of alternatives.

The company’s stock price opened the day of the announcement at $15.30. It has since increased to $18.99 as of its Dec. 8 opening.

Slater said the board has not set a timetable for the conclusion of the process and there is no assurance that it will result in any transaction or other strategic change or outcome. 

Limoneira does not intend to comment further “until it determines that further disclosure is appropriate or necessary,” he said.