Santa Ana, Calif.-based Calavo Growers, a marketer of fresh and processed avocados, is looking to raise a total of US$5m through an offering of 1 million shares of the company's common stock at US$5 per share.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has declared effective Calavo's registration statement relating to the offering, under the terms of which, shareholders of record as of 19 July 2002, will receive at no charge non-transferable subscription rights based on the number of shares of common stock held on that date.

Lee E. Cole, chairman, president and CEO, explained that proceeds from the offering will be used to reduce borrowings under existing credit facilities.

Cole commented: "The rights offering is intended to enable Calavo to repay substantial portions borrowed under existing credit facilities and to further strengthen our already-solid financial condition. Furthermore, it enables current stockholders the opportunity to acquire additional shares in the company and avoid dilution of their ownership interests."

Cole also indicated that the start of the rights offering should begin as soon as practicable. Presently, the subscription period for exercise of rights is expected to end on 30 August 2002. Rights certificates and complete information, including a prospectus, are being mailed to Calavo shareholders on 2 August 2002.