Bid to scupper Chiquita and Fyffes merger
Mergers Chiquita Brands, the US fruit company whose shareholders are due to vote today on a proposed $1 billion merger with Irish rival Fyffes, yesterday received a fresh cash offer from two Brazilian billionaires.
Safra group, controlled by financier Joseph Safra, and Cutrale, run by orange juice magnate Jose Luis Cutrale, have raised their offer for Chiquita from $14 to $14.50 a share, valuing it at $682 million.
The Brazilians said the offer would remain open until Sunday, two days before Fyffes shareholders are due to vote in Dublin on the proposed merger, which has been in the pipeline since March.
Chiquita’s board said it would “carefully consider” the fresh offer after previously rejecting the $14 offer in favour of sticking with the proposed deal to create ChiquitaFyffes, which would be headquartered in Dublin and run by Fyffes chairman David McCann.
In an attempt to head off the Brazilian bid to scupper their merger, Fyffes and Chiquita last month revised the terms of the deal to give Chiquita shareholders a bigger slice of ChiquitaFyffes, close to 60 per cent. It was previously due to get just over half of the merged company.