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March 10, 2014
11:54 EDTCQB, FDPChiquita Brands rises after merger with Ireland's Fyffes
Shares of international produce distributor Chiquita Brands (CQB) are rising after the company announced that it plans to combine with Irish produce company Fyffes in a stock-for-stock transaction. WHAT'S NEW: Chiquita Brands and Fyffes announced that the boards of both companies have unanimously approved a definitive agreement under which Chiquita will combine with Fyffes in a stock-for-stock transaction. The deal is expected to result in Chiquita shareholders owning approximately 50.7% of the new company, named ChiquitaFyffes, and Fyffes shareholders owning approximately 49.3% on a fully diluted basis. The agreement creates a global company with approximately $4.6B in annual revenues. Chiquita and Fyffes plan to complete the transaction before the end of the year. WHAT'S NOTABLE: During its conference call to discuss the deal, Chiquita Brands said ChiquitaFyffes will be the largest player in the banana market globally after the merger. The company said it will also have strong positions in packaged salads and healthy snacks, melons and pineapples. The new company will have a balanced market presence in North America and Europe, with pro forma revenues of 47% and 46% respectively, and expects to generate 7% of pro forma revenue outside of North America and Europe, primarily in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Russia and Asia. OTHERS TO WATCH: Fresh Del Monte (FDP) is a producer, marketer and distributor of fruit and vegetables and is a competitor to Chiquita Brands globally. PRICE ACTION: During late morning trading, shares of Chiquita Brands were up about 12% to $12.13. Fresh Del Monte shares were up fractionally to $27.51.
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