News Column

Chiquita and Fyffes $1bn banana merger may be split

August 12, 2014

KASMIRA JEFFORD



A MERGER between two of world's largest banana rivals Fyffes and Chiquita was thrown in doubt yesterday after new suitors weighed in with a rival $610.5m (364m) takeover bid.


Juice maker Cutrale and the Brazilian investment firm Safra announced that they have offered $13 per share in cash to Chiquita shareholders, a 29 per cent premium to the US company's closing price on Friday.


The offer sent shares in Chiquita soaring 30 per cent last night. Meanwhile shares in Fyffes fell more than 13 per cent.


The Irish tropical fruit company and Chiquita announced plans for a $1bn tie-up in March, creating a new company listed on the New York Stock Exchange but domiciled in Ireland for tax purposes.


So-called tax inversions deals have been fiercely criticised by the US government, with President Barack Obama last month denouncing companies fleeing the US to cut their tax base as "unpatriotic".


Cutrale and Safra said their proposal had been sent to Chiquita's board of directors and urged the company to enter negotiations.


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Source: City A.M. (UK)


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