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Martyn Fisher


Chiquita and Fyffes seek EC clearance

Move to allay fears over banana market competitiveness, as merged ChiquitaFyffes would have 14% share of global market

Chiquita and Fyffes seek EC clearance

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Fyffes and Chiquita are in discussions with the European Commission in a bid to obtain clearance for their merger.

The move, which is part of an initial Phase I review period, comes as the banana giants look to seal their partnership before the end of 2014. Questions have been raised about the possible stifling of market competition, though, as the merged ChiquitaFyffes would have a 14 per cent share of the US$7bn global banana market, making it the world's biggest banana supplier with a significant negotiating power.

Chiquita and Fyffes told their shareholders that the proposed commitments being sought, if adopted, are not expected to have a material impact upon the commercial rationale for the transaction.

A spokesperson for the two companies, whose merger could see them rake in annual revenues in excess of $4bn, said: "As a result of this development, the European Commission’s Phase 1 review timetable is automatically extended by 10 working days to 3 October 2014.

"While there can be no assurances, Fyffes and Chiquita remain of the view that there is a good prospect that their proposed transaction can be cleared by the European Commission during its Phase I review."

Fyffes is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, and employs over 12,000 people worldwide.

Chiquita Brands boasts annual revenues of more than $3 billion, employs approximately 20,000 people, and has operations in approximately 70 countries worldwide.

The merger was initially announced in March.

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