I’ve never sat in a corporate boardroom before but I imagine that an unsolicited buyout offer from your company’s CEO would take even the most well seasoned executives by surprise. That is exactly what happened earlier this week when Dole CEO David H. Murdock presented a buyout offer to the company’s board of directors.

Murdock wants to take the company private and is willing to buyout the 60 percent of the company that he doesn’t currently own.  According to The New York Times, Murdock “offered $12 a share for the 60 percent of Dole that he does not already own, valuing the company at almost $1.1 billion. His bid is 18 percent above the company’s closing price on Monday.”

This move was well received by Wall Street and the after news of the unsolicited buyout was made public, Dole stocks were up 22 percent to close at $12.46 on Tuesday. Today, the stock closed at $12.79 a share; over the last five days, Dole stock prices have increased by 29.58 percent.

What I find most interesting about this move is Murdock’s approach to taking the company private. Michael Dell wanted to take Dell private and enlisted the help of a private equity firm. Murdock wants to take his company private so decides to buy it with his own money; definitely not the traditional buyout model.

The big question, though, is if privatizing Dole is going to turn the company around. If Murdock is still the CEO and still manages the company, will going private allow him to do what he wants and/or needs to do to reverse Dole’s recent losses? 

via [The New York Times]

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