Fresh produce major Dole plans to hand off its 65% stake in its North American Progressive Produce business to agri-food investor Arable Capital Partners.

The Ireland-based group is selling the stake to the investor’s US-based subsidiary, PTF Holdings for a $125.2m sum.

Based in Los Angeles, Progressive Produce grows, packs and ships fresh fruit and vegetables to retail, wholesale and foodservice channels across the US and Canada.

PTF Holdings owns Pacific Trellis Fruit, also based in LA, which markets fresh fruits, such as grapes, melons, cherries, citrus and stone fruits to the US, Latin America and Europe.

Up until now, Progressive Produce has sat under Dole’s Diversified Fresh Produce business segment, which includes the groups Eco Farms, El Parque, Oppy, Gamble Group and The Fresh Connection.

Dole will look to lower its debts using the proceeds from the sale. It expects the deal to close by the end of next month.

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The transaction is not expected to have any impact on management at Progressive Produce, Dole said.

It added the executive team will remain a part of “the enlarged business of Progressive Produce and Pacific Trellis Fruit and retain an ownership stake”.

Dole declined to comment on whether the deal will affect any other roles in the business.

In a statement, Carl McCann, the executive chairman of Dole, said “the business has been a strong performer within our group”, since the company acquired the stake in 2016.

He added: “We would like to thank the current and former management teams for their dedication, passion, and significant contributions to the growth of this business over the time that we have been partners. We wish the executive team and their new majority owners continued success for the future.

The proceeds from this sale will further strengthen our financial position and enhance the group’s focus on, and investments in, our core activities.”

Derek Yurosek, managing director of Arable Capital Partners, described Progressive Produce as “a leader in top produce categories and has an impressive and diversified customer base, as well as an exceptional team”.

He added: “While Progressive Produce and Pacific Trellis Fruit will continue to operate independently, we are excited about the chance for them to work together to continue to grow their businesses and ultimately bring even greater value to their grower partners and customers.”

Arable Capital Partners’ other deals in food include its purchase of the US fruit processor Royal Ridge Fruits in 2021.