Greenyard and Dole merger off the table

Deprez and Murdock won't be celebrating a takeover

The acquisition of the American giant, Dole, by the Belgian conglomerate, Greenyard, is definitely not going ahead. This morning (5 January), Greenyard announced that the negotiations had reached an impasse. "No definitive agreement" was reached, according to Greenyard in a press release.

Hein Deprez regrets that the takeover has been scrapped. "We made every effort to negotiate a deal with important financial and strategic value for both parties", he said in the press release. "Despite this, no agreement could be reached." The reason for the failed takeover is unclear. Although, the Belgian newspaper, De Tijd, suggests that the price for the acquisition was too high. Dole is estimated to be worth about EUR 2 billion; considerably more than Greenyard at EUR1,2 billion.

Hein Deprez.

Last month, it was leaked that Hein Deprez, Greenyard's owner, and David Murdock, the owner of Dole Foods Company, were negotiating a takeover. This leak did not make a positive contribution toward the negotiations, according to Deprez. "That did not help", he told the Belgian newspaper, De Tijd. "After media leaks, unrealistic expectations often arose."

The fact that Murdock was looking for a buyer, became apparent earlier this year when the first steps for a new IPO were taken. According to sources, there were to be multiple candidates. The American billionaire, however, favoured a takeover by Greenyard. That was apparent from a comment made by the Belgian company in De Tijd: "Note that we did not solicit to take over Dole. Dole came to us to negotiate."

"The takeover of Dole by Greenyard would have been an important milestone for both companies. We are, however, convinced that Greenyard, itself, has the right strategies and priorities in place to continue realising a profitable growth. These will also help us strengthen our position as a world leader in the area of fruit and vegetables", Hein Deprez continued in the press release. "We have the utmost confidence that Greenyard will remain a forerunner in the fruit and vegetable sector. We will keep walking the path of a global leader and, so, will continue creating value for our shareholders."

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