Chiquita Brands International Inc., (CQB) owner of the namesake banana label, agreed to buy Ireland’s Fyffes Plc (FFY) to create the world’s biggest supplier of the fruit for about 403 million euros ($559 million).
The combined company will be called ChiquitaFyffes Plc, Chiquita and Fyffes said today in a joint statement.
The deal brings together two of the world’s oldest fruit importers, who between them have operations spanning the Americas, Europe and Asia. Chiquita Chief Executive Officer Ed Lonergan, who will become chairman of ChiquitaFyffes, has sought to reshape his Charlotte, North Carolina-based company as a high-volume seller of bananas and salads while winding down and abandoning other product lines.
Fyffes Chairman David McCann will become CEO of the combined company, which will be domiciled in Ireland, trade in New York and have annual sales of about $4.6 billion. The transaction is expected to close this year, pending approval by shareholders and the Irish High Court.