Dole - forced to sell after EC ruling

Dole - forced to sell after EC ruling

US fruit and vegetables giant Dole Food Company is selling its Scandinavian salad businesses Saba Fresh Cuts AB and Saba Fresh Cuts OY to Norwegian produce distributor BAMA International for an undisclosed sum.

Saba Fresh Cuts A - with a production facility in Helsingborg, Sweden - and Saba Fresh Cuts OY - with a factory in Espoo, Finland - are producers of washed and ready-to-eat salads. The companies prepare and sell various fresh-cut salads and vegetables to the retail and foodservice channels in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Germany and the Baltic states.

The sale of Saba Fresh Cuts AB was a necessary condition of the European Commission's approval of the investment by Total Produce into Dole in July.

Total Produce, which also produces fruit and veg, has taken a 45% stake in its US peer.

Johan Linden, president and chief executive officer of Dole Food Company, said: "I am very pleased with the outcome of this sale in meeting the EU's requirement and I am confident that Saba Fresh Cuts will be in good hands under BAMA's ownership."

Rune Flaen, chief executive officer of BAMA Group, said: "Convenience products and ready-to-eat salads and vegetables is a fast growing category in all markets, and Saba Fresh Cuts is a solid and very professional player, with a strong organisation and high-quality products. We look forward to working together." 

The transaction is expected to close in Q1 2019 and is subject to approval by the European Commission. 

BAMA Group is Norway's largest private distributor of fruit and vegetables.