DOLE FOOD COMPANY, INC. ANNOUNCES DEBT REDUCTION
Westlake Village, California - September 17, 2003
In advance of scheduled meetings with its bondholders and bond analysts, Dole Food Company, Inc. today announced that, as of Friday, September 12, 2003, the debt levels for the Revolver, Term A and Term B loans under the Company's Senior Secured Credit Facility were $6 million, $116 million and $170 million, respectively, for a total outstanding of $292 million. This represents a reduction of $167 million from the $459 million total amount outstanding under this Facility on June 14, 2003, the second fiscal quarter end, as reported on Dole's Form 10-Q for the second quarter of 2003. At the second quarter end, the amounts outstanding under the Revolver, Term A and Term B loans were $40 million, $126 million and $293 million, respectively.
At the time of the Company's going private merger transaction on March 28, 2003, the Senior Secured Credit Facility had a total amount outstanding of $935 million. During the second quarter of 2003, Dole repaid $476 million of principal under the Facility from the proceeds of a $400 million additional senior notes offering of May 29, 2003 and other repayments by Dole. Excluding the proceeds from the additional senior notes offering, Dole has repaid $243 million of principal under the Senior Secured Credit Facility from March 28, 2003 through September 12, 2003. This total exceeds by $235.8 million the $7.2 million of principal that was required to be repaid during this time period under the terms of the Facility.
The Company does not anticipate that these accelerated rates of repayment will continue in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2003, owing largely to seasonality factors. The ability of the Company to make accelerated repayments under the Facility during fiscal year 2004 and beyond will depend on a variety of factors, some of which are addressed in the "Risk Factors" section of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for fiscal year 2002. Accordingly, the Company expresses no view at this time concerning accelerated repayments under the Facility during fiscal year 2004 and beyond. The Company continues to utilize the Revolver portion of the Facility as originally designed.
Dole Food Company, Inc., with 2002 revenues of $4.4 billion, is the world's largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and fresh-cut flowers, markets a growing line of packaged foods and is a produce industry leader in nutrition education and research.
This release contains "forward-looking statements," within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Forward looking statements, which are based on management's current expectations, are generally identifiable by the use of terms such as "may," "will," "expects," "believes," "intends" and similar expressions. The potential risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied herein include weather-related phenomena; market responses to industry volume pressures; product and raw materials supplies and pricing; electrical power supply and pricing; changes in interest and currency exchange rates; economic crises and security risks in developing countries; international conflict; and quotas, tariffs and other governmental actions. Further information on the factors that could affect Dole's financial results is included in its SEC filings, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K.