DOLE FOOD COMPANY, INC. ANNOUNCES SIGNING OF SETTLEMENT AGREEMENTS RESOLVING U.S. ANTITRUST LAWSUITS
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, California - May 17, 2007
Dole Food Company, Inc. today announced that it has entered into settlement agreements resolving the two consolidated putative class action U.S. antitrust lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, in which Dole and three other banana companies are defendants. The settlement agreements and their terms are subject to various court approvals and required notices.
Michael Carter, Dole's Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary said "Dole has always stated that these lawsuits were without merit and Dole's view has not changed. Once there is final court approval, these settlement agreements will bring to an end this litigation against Dole and will not have any material effect on the Company's financial condition or results." Mr. Carter also commented that "As we have disclosed in our SEC filings, the European Commission's investigation of alleged violations of European Union competition (antitrust) laws by banana and pineapple importers and distributors operating within the European Economic Area is continuing and we are cooperating with the EC. The settlement agreements Dole is announcing today will not be affected by the EC investigation."
Dole Food Company, Inc., with 2006 revenues of $6.2 billion, is the world's largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and fresh-cut flowers. Dole markets a growing line of packaged and frozen foods and is a produce industry leader in nutrition education and research.
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; 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.