(Feb. 18) WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — David Murdock will learn the fate of his $1.4 billion buyout offer for Dole Food Co. Inc. March 26, when shareholders vote on the bid.

The company announced that a vote had been scheduled in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Feb. 14.

Murdock, chairman and chief executive officer of the Westlake Village-based fruit and vegetable producer and marketer, has offered to pay $33.50 per share to acquire the 76% of Dole that he does not already own.

A committee of independent directors has recommended that shareholders approve the offer. Dole shareholders of record as of Feb. 5 are eligible to vote at the meeting.

Shares of Dole closed Feb. 18 at $32.79. They have ranged between $24.14 and $33.99 in the past year.