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Dole could sell for $2.5 billion

doleGreenyard NV, a Belgian frozen foods company, is in advanced negotiations to acquire Dole Food Co. People familiar with the matter said the deal could be valued at more than $2.5 billion, according to a Reuters report.

Greenyard has secured appropriate financing, and the company said it is confident in its ability to complete the transaction with a balanced financing approach should a definitive agreement be reached. 

"At this stage, a definitive agreement has not been reached, and there can be no assurance that these negotiations will culminate in a transaction between the two companies," Greenyard said in a statement.

Dole has been considering an initial public offering; however, the report said a deal with Greenyard would "provide a quicker avenue for Dole’s 94-year-old chairman David Murdock to cash out on his ownership of Dole."

According to the report, citing the unnamed sources, Murdock views the offer as better than that of private equity firms that took an interest in Dole.