Improved Chiquita-Fyffes merger plan fails to deter Brazilian suitor

 

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The Independent Online

The Brazilian consortium hoping to buy US banana giant Chiquita stepped up its fight today as Fyffes improved the terms of the deal.

Fyffes and Chiquita announced they had agreed to an improved deal for Chiquita’s shareholders to fend off the $611m offered by the Brazilian rivals. But Brazilian juice group Grupo Cutrale and bank Safra Group said the new terms still did not match their offer.

They first waded into the proposed merger between the Irish banana group and Chiquita last month but Chiquita declared it was "inadequate".

Cutrale-Safra said Fyffes revised deal only offers Chiquita shareholders $11.82 a share “well below the $13 all cash certain Cutrale-Safra proposal.”

Cutrale-Safra said it was continuing its due diligence on the deal.

 

The Brazilian consortium believes the Fyffes merger is bad for shareholders and has spoken out on numerous occasions against the proposed deal.

Fyffes and Chiquita have already tried to appease shareholders and issued a statement last month which revealed they had earmarked an additional $20m of savings that could be made through their merger, bringing the total expected synergies to $60m.

The revised Fyffes proposal will see Chiquita’s share in the merged €976m company increase to 59.6 per cent from 50.7 per cent.

The merged Chiquita-Fyffes, along with the number two and three exporters in the world - Fresh Del Monte and Hawaii-founded Dole Food Company, have around 80 per cent of the market share of the global banana export industry. But Reuters reported it is close to securing conditional EU approval for the merger.

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