USA: Chiquita set to create world’s largest banana company
Chiquita Brands International, Inc. has entered into an in an all-stock transaction to acquire Fyffes, a Dublin, Ireland-based fruit and produce distributor, that is said to value the latter at approximately $526 million.
It is claimed that the combination of the two companies would create the world’s largest banana company with annual sales of $4.6 billion and, according to Reuters, global market share of around 14%.
According to Food Business News, the company will operate under the name ChiquitaFyffes and will be present in more than 70 countries with a workforce of approximately 32,000 people. In addition, the company is said to be maintaining a significant presence in the packaged salads and healthy snacks category, and will have stronger positions in the melon and pineapple market as the No. 1 importer in the United States and No. 3 distributor globally, respectively.
Chief executive officer of ChiquitaDespite, Ed Lonergan, commented: “This is a natural strategic partnership that combines two complementary companies of long history and great reputations that have built upon an unwavering commitment to exceed our customers' expectations.” He also went on to say that it “is a natural strategic partnership that combines two complementary companies of long history and great reputations that have built upon an unwavering commitment to exceed our customers' expectations.”
Also commenting was David McCann, executive chairman of Fyffes, who described the transaction as “transformative,” stating that the deal would offer additional opportunities for the new combined company.
However, some commentators, especially fair trade campaigners, raised concerns about the effect of the move on small-scale banana producers, with the potential for prices to be squeezed. The consolidation would leave the global banana market dominated by only three multinational players: Del Monte and Dole Foods, as well as the newly-formed Chiquita-Fyffes.
Source: Food Business News / Reuters