Chiquita Rejects Brazilian Buyout Offer

(The Charlotte Observer/MCT) -

Charlotte, N.C.-based Chiquita Brands International rejected a $610 million buyout offer from two Brazilian firms on Thursday, committing instead to its upcoming merger with an Irish produce company.

Chiquita’s board of directors voted unanimously to turn down an unsolicited $13-per-share offer to acquire Chiquita from Safra Group, a Brazilian bank, and Cutrale, an orange-juice supplier. The deal would have superseded Chiquita’s deal with Dublin-based Fyffes.

“The unsolicited offer from the Cutrale Group and the Safra Group announced on August 11, 2014, to acquire all of the outstanding stock of Chiquita for $13.00 per share in cash, is inadequate and not in the best interests of Chiquita shareholders,” said Chiquita in a statement.

Chiquita is set to hold a special meeting Sept. 17 for its shareholders to vote on the Fyffes deal, which would combine the two companies in an all-stock deal that would create the world’s largest banana company.

A spokeswoman for Cutrale and Safra did not immediately respond Thursday.