734 Agriculture and Arlon Group Purchase Majority Interest in Alico, Inc.
FORT MYERS, Fla. and NEW YORK, Oct. 18, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- 734
Agriculture, LLC and Alico, Inc. (Nasdaq:ALCO) announced today that 734
Agriculture, a private investment company owned and controlled by Remy W.
Trafelet and George R. Brokaw, in partnership with Arlon Group, a global food
and agriculture investment firm founded by Continental Grain Company, have
entered into definitive agreements under which an affiliate of 734 Agriculture
will acquire approximately 50.5 percent of Alico's outstanding voting stock
from Atlantic Blue Group, a family owned holding company.
The all cash transaction values the majority stake in Alico at $37 per share,
for a total purchase price of $137.8 million. The transaction is scheduled to
close during the fourth calendar quarter of 2013, subject to limited customary
Based in Fort Myers, Florida, Alico is an agribusiness and land management
company. Its principal lines of business are citrus groves, improved farmland
including sugar cane, cattle ranching and resource conservation.The company
is one of the largest private landowners in Florida, owning approximately
130,800 acres in five counties.It is a leading citrus grower in Florida with
approximately 11,000 producing acres.
Upon close of the transaction, Clay G. Wilson, a third generation citrus
grower associated with the citrus industry for more than 28 years, is expected
to replace JD Alexander as Chief Executive Officer of Alico.Mr. Wilson
currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of 734 Citrus Holdings, LLC and
Silver Nip Citrus, companies also owned and controlled by 734 Agriculture.
The Alico board of directors is expected to comprise eight members after close
of the transaction – including Mr. Wilson, Mr. Trafelet, Mr. Brokaw and Ben
Fishman, Managing Principal of Arlon Group.In addition, Henry (Hank) Slack,
former CEO of Minorco, former Executive Director of Anglo American PLC, and
former Chairman of Terra Industries, is expected to assume the role of
Chairman of the Board of Alico after closing.Ramon Rodriguez, current
Chairman of the Board of Alico, is expected to remain a member of the
board.734 Agriculture and Arlon intend that at least a majority of the board
of directors will continue to be independent based on NASDAQ listing criteria.
"Together with 734 Agriculture and Arlon Group, we look forward to increasing
Alico's business and shareholder value over the coming years," said Mr.
Wilson. "We believe that Alico provides a solid platform on which we can
continue to build a thriving agribusiness operation.Atlantic Blue Group's
announced plan to sell its stake in the company presented a unique and
compelling opportunity to make a significant investment in one of Florida's
leading citrus producers and landowners."
Added Mr. Wilson, "We are committed to investing in Alico's long term success
and will focus on increasing opportunities for growth and improved operating
performance to the benefit of all of Alico's shareholders and employees.I
personally look forward to working with Alico's very qualified management team
to move the company forward."
"This transaction resulted from the previously announced cooperative effort
between Alico and Atlantic Blue Group to find a value maximizing solution for
Atlantic Blue Group's planned disposition of its majority stake in Alico and
we welcome the enthusiastic involvement of 734 Agriculture and Arlon in
helping Alico expand its operations and build additional shareholder value,"
said Mr. Rodriguez."We thank Atlantic Blue Group for their guidance and
support over the past many years and thank our retiring CEO JD Alexander for
his strong leadership.We look forward to working with 734 Agriculture and
Arlon as we enter the next phase of our evolution and growth strategy."
Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz served as legal advisor to 734 Agriculture and
Arlon.Stephens Inc. served as financial advisor.
About Alico, Inc.
Alico, Inc. is an American agribusiness and land management company built for
today's world and known for its legacy of achievement and innovation in
citrus, sugar, cattle and resource conservation. Alico owns approximately
130,800 acres of land in five Florida counties (Alachua, Collier, Glades,
Hendry, Lee and Polk). Its principal lines of business are citrus groves,
improved farmland including sugar cane, cattle ranching and conservation, and
other operations which include rock mining. Alico's mission is to create value
for its customers, clients and shareholders by managing existing lands to
their optimal current income and total returns, opportunistically acquiring
new agricultural assets and producing high quality agricultural products while
exercising responsible environmental stewardship. Learn more about Alico
(Nasdaq:ALCO) atwww.alicoinc.comor follow Alico onFacebookandTwitter.
About 734 Agriculture, LLC
Owned and controlled by private investors Remy W. Trafelet and George R.
Brokaw, 734 Agriculture is a holding company that represents the partners'
interests in citrus and other agricultural businesses.
About Arlon Group
Arlon Group is a global food and agriculture investment firm that invests
across the entire food supply chain. Arlon's investmentfocus comes from its
roots, which began with its founding investor, Continental Grain, a
200-year-old leader in the food and agriculture space.The firm's investment
professionals are experts in global food and agriculture investing and work
collaboratively across geographies and asset classes. Arlon Group has
approximately $850 million in assets under management and is headquartered in
New York, with a presence in São Paulo, Brazil and in Beijing, Shanghai and
Hong Kong, China through a local affiliate. For more information, visit
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of
Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These forward-looking statements
are based on current expectations about future events and can be identified by
terms such as "expect," "may," "anticipate," "intend," "should be," "will be,"
"is likely to," "strive to," and similar expressions referring to future
Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in the
forward-looking statements. Readers are cautioned against relying on any of
these forward-looking statements. Factors which may cause future outcomes to
differ materially from those foreseen in forward-looking statements include,
but are not limited to: conditions to the closing of the transaction may not
be satisfied; the transaction may involve unexpected costs, liabilities or
delays; the business of Alico may suffer as a result of uncertainty
surrounding the transaction; the expected management and board transition may
be delayed or may not occur; the outcome of any legal proceedings related to
the transaction; the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstances
that could give rise to the termination of the transaction agreement; the
ability to recognize benefits of the transaction; risks that the transaction
disrupts current plans and operations and the potential difficulties in
employee retention as a result of the transaction; and other risks to
consummation of the transaction, including the risk that the transaction will
not be consummated within the expected time period or at all.Additional
factors that may affect the future results of Alico include changes in laws,
regulation and rules; weather conditions that affect production,
transportation, storage, import and export of fresh product; increased
pressure from disease, insects and other pests; disruption of water supplies
or changes in water allocations; pricing and supply of raw materials and
products; market responses to industry volume pressures; pricing and supply of
energy; changes in interest rates; availability of financing for land
development activities; political changes and economic crises; international
conflict; acts of terrorism; labor disruptions; inability to pay debt
obligations; inability to engage in certain transactions due to restrictive
covenants in debt instruments; government restrictions on land use; market and
pricing risks due to concentrated ownership of stock; and other risks and
uncertainties described in Alico's SEC filings, which are available on the
SEC's website at http://www.sec.gov. No party undertakes any obligation to
subsequently update or revise the forward-looking statements made in this
press release, except as required by law.
CONTACT: Josh Passman
(212) 279-3115 x203
Alico, Inc. logo
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