UPDATE 2-Dole CEO offers $12/share to buy rest of company
* Offer at a premium of 16 pct over Dole's Monday close
* Murdock owns 40 pct of company
* Shares up 20.5 pct premarket
June 11 (Reuters) - Dole Food Co Inc, one of the world's largest producers and marketers of fruit and fresh vegetables, received an unsolicited buyout offer from Chief Executive David Murdock valuing the company at just over $1 billion.
The $12 per share offer from Murdock, who already owns about 40 percent of the company, represents a premium of about 18 percent to the stock's close on Monday.
Shares of Dole, which has posted losses for the last three quarters, were trading at $12.43 in pre-market trading, suggesting that some investors expect a higher bid.
The offer has an enterprise value of $1.5 billion, Murdock said in a statement on Tuesday.
The company, which traces its roots to pineapple plantations set up in Hawaii in mid 1800s, said it would establish a special committee of independent directors to consider the proposal.
Murdock, who is also Dole's chairman as well as its biggest shareholder, took over as CEO in February after David DeLorenzo left to run two businesses sold by Dole to Japan's Itochu Corp .
Dole sold its packaged foods and Asia fresh produce businesses in a $1.7 billion deal to Itochu, paring down the size of the company by a third.
It is now left with its fruit and fresh vegetables business in North America and its and fruit businesses in Latin America, Europe and Africa.
Dole, like rival Chiquita Brands Inc, has been struggling with volatile demand and low prices for bananas, its biggest-selling product.
Murdock said Deutsche Bank would advise on the transaction and that he had received a "highly confident" letter from the lender on the financing for the deal.
(Reporting by Pallavi Ail in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)