Dole Food Company, the California food group specialising in fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and fresh-cut flowers, has announced that it has initiated a "buy-sell" process regarding its partly-owned UK subsidiary JP Fruit Distributors (JPFD).

Under the terms of this process, Dole said it will either buy the 65% of JPFD, which imports and sells fresh produce in the UK, that it does not own, or sell the 35% stake which it does currently own.

Dole said Jamaica Producers Group, which owns the remaining 65% majority share in JPFD, is required either to accept Dole's offer to buy JPG's 65% interest or, alternatively, to accept Dole's offer to sell its 35% interest in JPFD.

The JPG board is expected to consider the Dole offer on 2 October. Dole said it was considering expressions of interest by potential partners with respect to the ownership and operation of JPFD, should it eventually buy the remaining 65% of the company.