[Dole Food Company, Inc. Letterhead]
CONTACT: C. Michael Carter
DAVID H. MURDOCK COMPLETES ACQUISITIONOF DOLE FOOD COMPANY, INC.
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, California--March 28, 2003--Dole Food Company, Inc.
(NYSE: DOL) today announced that David H. Murdock, Dole's Chairman and Chief
Executive Officer, has completed his acquisition of Dole Food Company, Inc.
The going-private merger agreement was approved on March 26, 2003 at a
special meeting of the Dole stockholders. The transaction is valued at $2.5
billion. Dole announced that its shares of Common Stock will cease to be traded
in any public market effective at the close of business today.
"This transaction is a momentous occasion in Dole's 152-year history, and
we are extremely excited about the long-term advantages for Dole without the
short-term pressures and constraints of the public equities markets," said Mr.
Murdock. "As a privately-held company, Dole will be better positioned to achieve
its growth and earnings potential, building on its leadership position in the
fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, packaged foods and fresh-cut flowers industries."
Mr. Murdock expressed his appreciation for the extraordinary success of his
management team, advisors and bankers in completing this complex transaction.
Mr. Murdock also commented that "Our superb lead banks were Deutsche Bank, The
Bank of Nova Scotia, Bank of America, Fleet National Bank and Societe Generale."
Mr. Murdock was advised by Deutsche Bank Securities and Paul, Hastings, Janofsky
& Walker LLP. The Special Committee of Dole's Board of Directors was advised by
Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.
Dole Food Company, Inc., with 2002 revenues of $4.4 billion, is the world's
largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and
fresh-cut flowers and markets a growing line of packaged goods.
This release contains "forward-looking statements," within the meaning of
the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that involve a number of
risks and uncertainties. Forward looking statements, which are based on
management's current expectations, are generally identifiable by the use of
terms such as "may,""will,""expects,""believes,""intends" and similar
expressions. The potential risks and uncertainties that could cause actual
results to differ materially from those expressed or implied herein include
weather-related phenomena; market responses to industry volume pressures;
product and raw materials supplies and pricing; electrical power supply and
pricing; changes in interest and currency
exchange rates; economic crises and security risks in developing countries;
international conflict; and quotas, tariffs and other governmental actions.
Further information on the factors that could affect Dole's financial results is
included in its SEC filings, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K.
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Dates Referenced Herein and Documents Incorporated by Reference