Belfast Telegraph

Fyffes a step closer to merger go-ahead

By Colm Kelpie

The European Commission is to review the planned merger between banana giants Fyffes, which is based in Dublin, and US firm Chiquita.

The EU's competition wing will examine the deal and is expected to make a decision on its approval on September 19.

Fyffes scored a major victory in the battle to merge with Chiquita last week after the latter's shareholders rejected a rival bid.

Fyffes and Chiquita agreed merger terms last March but last Monday the Brazilian duo of Safra and Cutrale made a rival bid for Chiquita that seemed to dwarf the Fyffes offer.

The Chiquita board, however, has thrown its weight behind the Fyffes deal.

In a statement, Chiquita said Safra and Cutrale's bid of $13 a share was "inadequate". Instead, the board "remains committed to its transaction with Fyffes".

The news is a filip to Fyffes, which was seen as out of the running after the Brazilians made their offer. When the rival bid was made public, Fyffes shares fell by as much as 21%, before Fyffes announced the deal with Chiquita.

Belfast Telegraph

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