FORT MYERS — Atlantic Blue Group, the majority shareholder of agribusiness company Alico, says it is exploring the sale of all its shares in the company to a strategic or financial buyer.
Alico says it has formed a special committee of its board of directors to work with Atlantic Blue on the potential sale of 50.6% of Alico's shares. The company says it will retain undisclosed financial and legal representation for the special committee.
Alico owns 130,400 acres in Collier, Glades, Hendry, Lee and Polk counties where it grows citrus and sugarcane and raises cattle. The company's shares are publicly traded (symbol: ALCO; recent price, $45).
Atlantic Blue, whose owners include heirs of the family of citrus magnate Ben Hill Griffin Jr., says recent changes in the tax code forced it to consider selling all its assets, according to Alico.
“While the special committee and Atlantic Blue explore transaction possibilities, we will continue to implement the strategy which resulted in the company being recognized as one of Investor Business Daily's 'Best of 2012.' Specifically, we will continue to work to enhance the productivity of our agricultural holdings, evaluate the utilization of our ranch and improved farmlands and redeploy proceeds from land sales to create value for our shareholders,” says JD Alexander, Alico's president and CEO, in a statement.