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WORLD WATCH

International Business / The Pacific

February 15, 1996

Mexico About to Sell Del Monte Stake: The government is close to selling all or part of its majority interest in Del Monte Fresh Produce Co., investment bankers said. The government acquired the Coral Gables, Fla.-based fruit and vegetable company last year when it seized the assets of its parent company, Mexico-based Grupo Financiero Union-Cremi. At least eight possible buyers met with managers at the company's headquarters to submit bids and hear about the company's current financial condition, said an executive at Lehman Bros., which was hired to manage the sale. Neither Lehman nor Del Monte would comment on details or a sale price. Three investors will be chosen and asked to submit final bids, the Lehman executive said. Analysts in New York and news reports in Mexico City have speculated that the company could fetch between $500 million and $800 million.

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