EU clear stake over of Ir­ish fruit gi­ant

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - Business Telegraph Food And Drink - BY JOHN MUL­LI­GAN AND SEAN DUFFY

THE €751m (£648m) ac­qui­si­tion of Ir­ish fruit firm Fyffes by Ja­pan’s Su­mit­omo has re­ceived com­pe­ti­tion clearance, af­ter the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion said it will not op­pose the trans­ac­tion.

Com­ple­tion of the takeover re­mains sub­ject to sanc­tion of the scheme of ar­range­ment by the High Court on Fe­bru­ary 16.

Last month, Fyffes share­hold­ers voted over­whelm­ingly to sell the com­pany to Su­mit­omo.

A mo­tion to back the €751m sale of the Ir­ish com­pany was backed by more than 99% of Fyffes share­hold­ers who voted at an ex­tra­or­di­nary gen­eral meet­ing. Fyffes share­hold­ers are to re­ceive €2.23 (£1.90) per share un­der the terms of the trans­ac­tion. Fyffes has an an­nual turnover of €1.2bn (£1bn).

Su­mit­omo is a Ja­panese com­pany with over 800 sub­sidiaries around the globe em­ploy­ing around 65,000 work­ers.

In De­cem­ber, Fyffes chair­man David Mccann called the deal a “com­pelling propo­si­tion”.

“Our em­ploy­ees, cus­tomers, sup­pli­ers and joint ven­ture part­ners will ben­e­fit from Fyffes be­ing part of an en­larged group with greater scale, reach and re­sources to broaden and ac­cel­er­ate de­liv­ery of Fyffes’ strate­gic ob­jec­tives.

“We look for­ward to work­ing with the Su­mit­omo team to de­velop and enhance our group’s strat­egy and to build on its long track record of suc­cess­ful growth,” he said.

The Ja­panese firm said it in­tends ex­pand­ing Fyffes into new mar­kets as well as ex­pand­ing its pro­duce of­fer­ings. Fyffes al­ready op­er­ates in the pineap­ple, ba­nana, mush­room, and mel­ons mar­kets.

In De­cem­ber, Su­mit­omo man­ag­ing ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Hiro­hiko Imura said his com­pany has long-ad­mired Fyffes for its mar­ket-lead­ing po­si­tion.

“We be­lieve that our of­fer rep­re­sents a great re­ward for Fyffes’ share­hold­ers,” he said.

“We are grate­ful the Mccann fam­ily has pro­vided an ir­rev­o­ca­ble com­mit­ment of sup­port and is en­trust­ing us to con­tinue with them the rich Fyffes’ her­itage.”

Fyffes’ ac­qui­si­tion by Ja­panese firm Su­mit­omo has been given clearance by the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion

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