Itochu to buy Dole packaged, Asia fresh food biz

Japan Itochu Corp. to buy Dole Food's packaged and Asian fresh food business for $1.7 billion

Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) -- The Japanese trading company Itochu Corp. says it has agreed to buy Dole Food Co.'s worldwide packaged foods and Asia fresh produce businesses for $1.7 billion.

Itochu said in a brief statement Tuesday that it would provide further details of its planned purchase of Westlake Village, California-based Dole's subsidiaries later.

Dole earlier said it was in "advanced negotiations" to sell those parts of its business to Itochu or another party following a strategic review of its operations.

Dole's packaged foods business includes products ranging from canned and frozen fruit to bagged salads — product lines that fit with Itochu's ambitions to become the biggest food distributor in the increasingly affluent Asian market.

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