Shareholders of Irish fresh produce giant Fyffes have backed the €751m takeover bid made by Japanese group Sumitomo Corporation, that was originally announced in December last year.
According to reports, the deal gained the approval of 99.9 per cent of investors during a vote at the Ballsbridge Hotel in Dublin, with executive chairman David McCann saying the agreement should be finalised in February, assuming it gains regulatory approval.
"It's an historic day in the company's history," McCann was reported as saying following the vote.
Commenting on the potential deal when the news broke last month, Sumitomo's managing executive officer Hirohiko Imura had said: “Sumitomo Corporation has long admired Fyffes for its outstanding track record and market leading position, and we are delighted that the Fyffes Directors have unanimously agreed to recommend our offer to shareholders.
"We believe that our offer represents a great reward for Fyffes’ shareholders," he added. "We are grateful that the McCann family has provided an irrevocable commitment of support and is entrusting us to continue with them the rich Fyffes heritage. Sumitomo will provide Fyffes with experience, support and investment to continue to build on the tremendous Fyffes skills and experience and reach greater potential."
Sumitomo has been active in the banana industry since the 1960s and is the market leader in Asia with a fully integrated business model with interests ranging from plantation operations in the Philippines to retail distribution across the Asian region.
Currently, the Sumitomo Group imports approximately 30 per cent of the bananas into the Japanese market.