Looks like the saucy icon, Carmen Miranda, will have to up her charisma as tensions rise over Chiquita Brands International Inc.’s rejection of the Curtrale and Safra Group’s joint takeover bid .
“Cutrale-Safra is disappointed that the Chiquita Board simply rejected the Cutrale-Safra proposal without making any effort to reach out to the representatives of the Cutrale Group or the Safra Group to explore the Cutrale-Safra proposal.”
Now, Cutrale and Safra are trying to convince shareholders to reject Chiquita’s planned takeover of the Ireland-based company, Fyffes. Chiquita countered and contends that the Fyffes deal was the best course for shareholders.
Combining the tropical fruit company (Fyffes) and Chiquita has the potential to produce $4.6 billion in annual revenue and ship approximately 160 million boxes of bananas each year, jumping ahead of its competitor, Dole Food Company.
Not to mention the money that could be saved by moving Chiquita’s headquarters to Ireland. This is known as an inversion and many companies have resorted to buying out companies abroad for the expressed purpose of saving huge sums of money in taxes. However, Chiquita insists the merge of the companies is not tax-driven and that they will continue to be a U.S. taxpayer with their U.S. operations still subject to U.S. taxes.
Chiquita is firm on their plans to forgo the Cutrale and Safra deal to pursue the $1.07 billion all-stock deal with Fyffes. The Fyffe’s deal would create the world’s largest banana company and they would be aptly renamed ChiquitaFyffes.
The combined company will also look to expand to Asia and the Middle East where banana consumption is low.
Wall Street Journal’s MoneyBeat reporter, Paul Vigna asks, “Why this deal? Why now?” To which Peter Evans, reporter from London, explains, “Demand for bananas is going up, fueled by improvements in shipping and technologies, so bananas can be stored and transported to market in 20 days now, whereas previously it was around 45. That is facilitating this demand. But, also, as you’d expect with something like this, an emerging market demand where previously bananas couldn’t be shipped is driving that market. It makes sense for the two companies, which have quite a diverse spread of joker fees between them, to do this deal right now and ride that wave of expanding banana demand.”