Chiquita Inks $1.3B Merger Agreement with Cutrale-Safra

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Chiquita Brands International Inc (NYSE:CQB) signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by Cutrale-Safra for $14.50 per share or approximately $1.3 billion in cash today.

Last week, Chiquita Brands International Inc (NYSE:CQB) withdrew its transaction with Fyffes PLC (LON:FFY), which was already given a conditional approval by the European Commission. According to the company, the transaction was rejected by its shareholders.

Details of the agreement

According to Chiquita Brands International Inc (NYSE:CQB) the merger would enhance its position worldwide and provides extensive experience in all aspects of fruit and juice value chain. The board of directors of the company unanimously approved the deal.

The acquisition price of $14.50 per share represents a 33.8% closing price of the stock of Chiquita Brands International Inc (NYSE:CQB) on March 27, the last trading day prior to the announcement of the company’s transaction with FYFFES PLC (LON:FFY).

The total value of approximately $1.3 billion included the assumption of the net debt of Chiquita Brands International Inc (NYSE:CQB). The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. The company expected to close the deal by the end of this year or early in 2015.

The agreement will combine Chiquita Brands International Inc (NYSE:CQB) with Cutrale Group, a global agribusiness operator and Safra Group, a global financial services firm. Chiquita is one of the leading fresh produce companies worldwide.

Chiquita CEO Ed Lonergan said, “This transaction demonstrates our board’s commitment to maximizing shareholder value and underscores the significant progress Chiquita has achieved over the past couple of years in our financial and operational performance.”

Chiquita Brands International Inc (NYSE:CQB) will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cutrale-Safra following the completion of the transaction.

Cutrale-Safra committed to supporting Chiquita

Cutrale-Safra emphasized that its investment with Chiquita Brands International Inc (NYSE:CQB) was long-term. The group is committed to supporting Chiquita as it continues to strengthen its franchises.

According to Cutrale-Safra, Chiquita Brands International Inc (NYSE:CQB) will have access to the group’s substantial experience in all aspects of fruit and juice value chain and extensive financial expertise to ensure a premier and sustainable platform in its sector.

The group added, “Chiquita will be able to take advantage of the vast knowledge of the Cutrale Group in farming, processing, technology, sourcing, distribution, logistics and marketing.”

Furthermore, Cutrale-Safra is confident that Chiquita Brands International Inc (NYSE:CQB) will have the necessary capabilities to grow its business and benefit for shareholders, employees, business partners, customers, distributors and suppliers.

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