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Fyffes Chiquita merger forges ahead

Tuesday, August 12 17:06:04

Chiquita Brands international and Ireland's Fyffes today forged ahead with their planned merger despite reports that an unsolicited bid approach by Brazilian juice maker Cutrale Group would scupper the deal.

Chiquita and Fyffes today sent forms to Fyffes' shareholders including a prospectus of the proposed ChiquitaFyffes merged company and an Irish scheme circular of Fyffes.

Fyffes shareholders will also receive the notices and forms of proxy for the two special meetings of Fyffes shareholders to be held on 17 September.

" As previously announced, on 10 March 2014 Fyffes entered into a definitive merger agreement with Chiquita under which Chiquita will combine with Fyffes in a stock-for-stock transaction. On completion of the combination, Chiquita shareholders will own approximately 50.7pc of ChiquitaFyffes, and Fyffes shareholders will own approximately 49.3pc of ChiquitaFyffes, on a fully diluted basis. The agreement creates a global banana and other fresh produce company with approximately $4.6 billion in annual revenues," a joint statement said today.

But Cutrale Group and financial conglomerate Safra Group said yesterday in a joint statement they are offering $13 a share for Chiquita. The proposal is 29pc more than Chiquita's closing share price on Aug. 8 and isn't subject to financing conditions, Cutrale and Safra said.

Cutrale controls more than one-third of the $5 billion orange-juice market, and also has global operations in apples, peaches, lemons and soybeans, according to its joint statement with Safra Group.

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