Fresh Del Monte halts its Hawaii operations
Nov 20, 2006 10:20 AM, from staff and wire reports
Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc plans to close its Hawaii operations immediately, instead of the 2008 closing date it announced in February 2006. The company will lay off 551 employees in January 2007.
"The company's action was compelled by various factors; specifically, the production volume of pineapples is significantly lower than the company's original estimates," the company said in a statement.
As a result, Dole Food Co now will be the only major pineapple grower on Oahu.
In related news, Fresh Del Monte Produce announced that the jury hearing a lawsuit in Miami-Dade County (FL) Circuit Court brought by certain former indirect minority shareholders returned a verdict in favor of the company and its co-defendants. The six-member jury rejected allegations that bribery and fraud were involved in the 1996 sale of the Coral Gables FL-based produce firm.
"Since the filing of this meritless litigation almost four years ago, we have always maintained that the acquisition of Fresh Del Monte by the IAT Group in December 1996 was proper and according to all legal requirements and consents,” said Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh, chairman and chief executive officer of Fresh Del Monte.
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