Fort Myers, Fla.-based Alico (NASDAQ: ALCO ) may be for sale.
On Wednesday, the agribusiness and land management company announced that a special committee of its Board of Directors has hired Deutsche Bank to give it financial advice, and law firm Greenberg Traurig to provide legal counsel, on "potential strategic and financial transaction alternatives" the company might take. Such alternatives could include merger with another company in whole or in part, or even selling all or part of Alico.
Alico is exploring its options after receiving notice that its majority shareholder, Atlantic Blue Group, has decided to sell its entire stake in Alico (once it finds a buyer). Atlantic Blue owns more than 51% of Alico's shares outstanding, and is by far the largest owner of the company. The next-largest stakeholder, hedge fund manager GMT Capital, owns only 8.2% .
In a statement, Alico said Atlantic Blue Group intends to "work cooperatively" with the special committee to reach an outcome that benefits both parties. However, Alico notes that there is no guarantee that any such transaction will ultimately take place.
Alico owns about 130,400 acres of land in five Florida counties. Its principal lines of business are citrus groves, improved farmland including sugar cane, cattle ranching and conservation, and related support operations. It also receives royalties from rock mining and oil production.