DOLE FOOD COMPANY, INC. STOCKHOLDERS APPROVE MERGER PROPOSAL
Westlake Village, California - March 26, 2003
Dole Food Company, Inc. (NYSE:DOL) today announced that its stockholders approved the going-private merger agreement under which David H. Murdock, Dole's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, will acquire the approximately 76% of Dole's common stock that he and his affiliates do not already own for $33.50 per share in cash.
Votes "FOR" the merger totaled approximately 43.3 million shares, or 77% of the outstanding shares. Votes "AGAINST" the merger totaled approximately 386,514 shares and holders of 29,967 shares abstained. Approximately 70% of the shares held by stockholders other than Mr. Murdock and his affiliates voted "FOR" the merger.
"I am very pleased that Dole stockholders voted in favor of the going-private merger transaction," said Mr. Murdock.
The transaction is expected to close promptly following completion of the necessary financing. Currently, Dole anticipates that the closing will occur on March 28, 2003.
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.