CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The fate of Chiquita Brands International is still in flux after shareholders rejected an agreement to merge with Fyffes P.L.C. on Oct. 24. The two parties have terminated their merger agreement and Chiquita executives are expected to enter into discussions with the Cutrale-Safra Group.
“We appreciate the consideration and perspectives of all Chiquita shareholders who participated in this process,” said Edward F. Lonergan, president and chief executive officer of Chiquita. “I want to thank David McCann and the entire Fyffes team for their efforts throughout this process. While we are convinced they would have been a strong merger partner, we will now go forward as competitors.”
On Oct. 23, a day before the shareholder vote, Cutrale-Safra increased its offer to acquire Chiquita from $14 per share to $14.50 per share in cash. Chiquita’s board of directors had rejected the offer of $14 per share, but said it would review the new offer.The day of the shareholder vote, Kerrii B. Anderson, chairman of the Chiquita board of directors and Mr. Lonegran released a statement that said, “Chiquita's board continues to believe in the long-term value of the ChiquitaFyffes merger and does not believe that the $14.50 offer from Cutrale/Safra is superior to the potential combination.”