Brazilian companies raise Chiquita offer to $681M

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — Brazilian companies Cutrale and Safra are again raising their bid for banana producer Chiquita, to $681 million.

Chiquita has repeatedly rejected offers from investment firm Safra Group and juice company Cutrale Group, preferring to merge with Irish fruit importer Fyffes in an all-stock deal.

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 is now based in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The latest bid from Safra and Cutrale is for $14.50 per Chiquita share, up from an offer of $14 per share earlier this month. They had bid $13 per share in August.

Chiquita shares are up nearly 8 percent, to $13.72, in morning trading.