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Dole Food Company has confirmed that the proposed sale of a “major percentage” of its operations to Japan’s ITOCHU Corporation will be completed on 1 April 2013. Under the deal, originally announced last September, ITOCHU will pay $1.68bn in cash to acquire Dole Worldwide Packaged Foods and Dole Asia Fresh Produce. After the sale, the “new” Dole will have a smaller footprint as a commodity produce company with two main lines of business – fresh fruit and fresh vegetables – generating around $4.2bn in annual revenues. “We will remain an industry leader in the sourcing, distribution and marketing of bananas, pineapples and other tropical fruits, packaged salads, fresh-packed vegetables and fresh berries,” said Dole chairman David Murdock.

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