Chiquita rejects offer from Safra and Cutrale

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — Chiquita says it is rejecting a new buyout offer from two Brazilian companies and will go ahead with its plan to merge with Irish fruit importer Fyffes.

Chiquita says the offer from investment firm Safra Group and juice company Cutrale Group isn't high enough and the Fyffes deal will bring more value to shareholders. Safra and Cutrale initially offered to buy Chiquita in August, and on Wednesday they raised their offer to $658 million, or $14 per share.

ChiquitaFyffes would be the world's largest banana supplier, and the companies plan to incorporate in Dublin to take advantage of lower tax rates. Chiquita shareholders will own almost 60 percent of the company.

Chiquita shares were unchanged at $13.61 in aftermarket trading.