The sale to the Japanese company must still be approved by Chinese regulators, the Westlake Village-based company said.
"After weeks of active engagement" the Chinese Ministry of Commerce officially accepted Dole's antitrust filing in early December and met with Dole and Itochu officials, C. Michael Carter, Dole's executive vice president and general counsel, said in a statement.
"We have been engaged in a very active dialogue with the Chinese regulatory agency, and we will continue to seek approval at the earliest date possible in 2013. We are confident that there are no competition issues that would complicate receiving antitrust approval in China," Carter said in the statement.
Since both companies do business in China the sale has to be approved by regulators there, said company spokesman Marty Ordman.
Carter is assuming the added role of Dole's president and chief operating officer in connection with the sale.
Dole announced the sale of the two business units last September.
Carter also provided an update on the company's finances.
Dole is finalizing a $400 million term loan and a $300 million revolving credit line with its banking partners.
The loan and proceeds from the sale will be used to pay off corporate debt of about $1.7 billion, Carter noted.
The company said that market conditions remain tough because of the weak international economy and Typhoon Bopha which raked the banana growing region in Mindanao, Philippines in December.
"The fresh fruit business of the new Dole is continuing to experience declining earnings in a continued difficult economic environment," the company said in the release.
Nevertheless, Dole Chairman David H. Murdock, who is again taking over as CEO, remained upbeat.
"While the current environment in the banana market remains challenging, I remain very optimistic about the long-term future of the new Dole and its prospects," he said in a statement.