LABELLE, FL. -- 734 Agriculture, LLC and Alico, Inc. announced Friday 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 closing conditions.
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 (Alachua, Collier, Glades, Hendry, Lee and Polk). 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.