Dole breaks with French companyDavid Murdock continues to reorganize and realign Dole Food Co. Inc., divesting minority interest in the French holding company for Compagnie Fruitière Group after a 21-year partnership.

Back at the helm since taking the company private in November, Murdock has been working on streamlining Dole for more than a year.

A joint news release from Dole and Compagnie Fruitière Group issued May 27 described the companies’ relationship as “a long and fruitful cooperation,” but said both entities thought “they will better pursue their growth objectives separately in the future.”

Financial media reported Dole owned 40% of Compagnie Financiere de Participations, the holding company of Compagnie Fruitière Group. The French company grows and ships bananas, pineapples and tomatoes in the Africa Caribbean Pacific zone and has more than 18,000 employees worldwide, according to the news release.

Dole and Compagnie Fruitière may cooperate commercially “as suppliers or customers to each other if, when and where it would be to their mutual benefit,” according to the release.

The split with the French company is the latest in a string of changes that started even before Murdock made his unsolicited bid in June 2013 to buy back Dole, the second time he has taken the company from public to private status.

In April 2013 as president and CEO of Dole Food Co. Inc., Murdock oversaw the sale of the Asian fresh produce and worldwide packaged food business to Japan-based Itochu.

In mid-May Dole officials announced the company’s fresh vegetable facility in Gonzales, Calif., is expected to close by the end of June. In conjunction with that announcement, Dole’s chief operating officer Mike Carter revealed changes in top management in two of the company’s operating divisions.

Howard Roeder will succeed the retiring Ray De Riggi as president of Dole Fresh Vegetables and two other executives — Cynthia Nunes and Todd Camel — have been promoted to co-general managers and vice presidents of Dole Fresh Fruit North America.