Yesterday, fruit conglomerate Dole Food sent two of its major assets winging across the Pacific. As reported in Reuters, Dole has sold its packaged foods and Asian fresh produce businesses to Japanese company Itochu Corp. for the handsome price of $1.7 billion. The deal gives Itochu exclusive rights to the Dole trademark on all packaged food sold around the world and produce distributed in Australia and New Zealand as well as Asia.

We've contemplated the amount of 4 oz. mixed fruit cups $1.7 billion can buy. We're talking close to 1,020,510,255 cups (provided one purchases in bulk from a big-time purveyor). According to Reuters, Dole jettisoned the businesses to cut back on debt and permit a restructuring phase that the company hopes will eventually lead to savings of $50 million annually. That's a lot of fruit cups too.

Why sell now? Apparently, the 161-year-old Dole has been hit hard by mercurial demand for its products and the volatile price of bananas.

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