CHARLOTTE, N.C.Chiquita Brands International, Inc., and Fyffes plc will combine to create ChiquitaFyffes plc, a global banana and fresh produce company with approximately $4.6 billion in annual revenues. Ed Lonergan will serve as chairman, and David McCann will become chief executive officer of the combined company.
The stock-for-stock transaction is expected to result in Chiquita shareholders owning approximately 50.7% of ChiquitaFyffes, and Fyffes shareholders owning approximately 49.3% of ChiquitaFyffes, on a fully diluted basis. The deal is expected to be completed before the end of 2014, and the combined company will have an operating presence in more than 70 countries and a workforce of approximately 32,000 people around the world.
The combination of Chiquita and Fyffes is consistent with the strategic goals of both businesses, including increasing shareholder value by combining complementary businesses that provide operational efficiencies and cost savings. In addition, uniting the two companies in the produce industry enhances scale, scope and portfolio diversity, while also leveraging greater global scale to better serve customers and reach new markets. The move will generate significant cash flow and a more efficient capital structure, expand sourcing ability in key production areas, and continue commitment to shared purpose and sustainability, according to the company.