EC delays decision on Total Produce-Dole deal

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EC delays decision on Total Produce-Dole deal

The European Commission has reportedly pushed back its ruling on Total Produce's (US$303 million) €260 million purchase of a stake in U.S. rival Dole to the end of July after the Irish-based fruit and vegetable distributor agreed to a number of concessions.

The Independent reported the changes are minor and will not impact the key terms of the agreement, which if approved by regulators on both sides of the Atlantic, may ultimately result in the creation of a global conglomerate with combined sales of €8 billion.

The EU competition watchdog had set July 16 as the initial deadline but recently revised that to July 30.

The fresh produce distributor unveiled the acquisition of a 45 percent share in Dole, one of the world's top producers of bananas and pineapples, in February, and plans to tap investors for about US$150 million (€127 million) to help fund the deal.

If the transaction receives a green light, Total and Dole's owner, 95-year old billionaire, David H Murdock, will run the company as a joint venture.

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