Florida Buys 5,734 Acres From Alico

Ernie NeffLand


The state of Florida recently purchased approximately 5,734 acres of Alico Ranch for $14.4 million from Alico, Inc. The purchase was made under the Florida Forever program, pursuant to an option agreement between the state and the company earlier this fiscal year.

“This is now the third sales transaction we have completed with the state of Florida within the last three years, aggregating over 22,000 acres,” said company President and CEO John Kiernan. “Alico intends to use these sales proceeds to opportunistically prepay a portion of its fixed-rate term debt.”

“We remain encouraged by the continued level of prospective sales activity from other buyers of parcels on both the west and east parts of the Alico Ranch,” Kiernan stated. “We believe that if we are successful with our continued efforts to divest additional acreage of Alico Ranch, we will be able to redeploy these sales proceeds into building shareholder value, possibly through continuing to increase quarterly common dividends, a like-kind exchange structure to defer a portion of capital gains taxes, retiring additional debt, continuing to increase quarterly common dividends or even considering special dividends. All of these uses of proceeds will be carefully considered in an effort to achieve greater returns for our shareholders.”

The company has also been a recent purchaser of citrus land. On Oct. 30, Alico purchased approximately 3,280 gross citrus acres in Hendry County for $16.45 million from Gardinier Florida Citrus, Inc. At that time, Kiernan stated that the purchase added “additional scale to our existing 45,000 gross acres of citrus properties.”

The company primarily operates two divisions: Alico Citrus, one of the nation’s largest citrus producers, and Land Management and Other Operations, which includes environmental services.

Source: Alico, Inc.

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