90.7 F
San Fernando
Friday, Jun 2, 2023

Move to Private Status is Fruitful

Dole Food Co. is the titan of the San Fernando Valley Business Journal’s Fastest Growing Private Companies List. The company reported revenues of $5.3 billion in 2004, which is a 10 percent increase from the prior year. In 2003, David H. Murdock, who had served as chairman and chief executive officer of the company since 1985, announced his plan to take over the company, buying out shareholders. Since then, the company has been busy expanding its core operations and moving into new ventures. The company’s four main business segments are fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, packaged foods and fresh-cut flowers. This past August, Dole announced through indirect subsidiary Bud Antle Inc. its plans to build a processing plant for vegetables in Gaston County, N.C. The company will spend $54 million to construct and equip the plant, which will employ 525 people within the next three years and 900 by 2016. Murdock said at the time of the announcement that the location will expand the company’s distribution network, allowing it to deliver salad products to Southern and East Coast companies more quickly and efficiently. The company is also considering putting a frozen fruit processing plant in North Carolina, and wants to increase its collection of vegetable and berry crops at existing and new plants. In April, the company announced plans for the wellness center across from Dole’s Westlake Village headquarters. Dole affiliate Westlake Wellbeing Properties, LLC and Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts announced a deal under which Four Seasons will manage the 270-room hotel, which includes a wellbeing center, spa and educational and television facilities. The center will also feature medical facilities staffed by physicians providing diagnostic and outpatient recuperative services and other health and fitness services. ARCUS Enterprises, a company owned by WellPoint Inc., is an investor and co-operator of the facility. The project is driven by Murdock’s belief that Dole and other companies can convince people to live healthier and live longer, active lives. Dole provides over 200 products that sell in more than 90 countries, and the company’s operations encompass the growing, processing, distribution and marketing of its various products. Over the last 10 years it has expanded its products, and had good results selling its ready-to-eat salad lines and fruit bowls and plastic bowls, which are growing faster and at higher margins than Dole’s traditional product lines.

Featured Articles

Related Articles