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U.S.: Chiquita buys Dallas cold storage facility

Fresh produce multinational Chiquita Brands has opted to buy a cold storage warehous it was previously leasing in Dallas, Texas, website Bizjournals.com reported.

The 113,000-square-foot facility in Grand Prairie was purchased by Switzerland-headquartered Chiquita and its Fresh Express brand for US$ 19.5 million, the story reported.

The deal was reportedly brokered by Colliers International vice president Marc Bonilla.

“This institutional grade industrial asset combined outstanding functionality with an incredible opportunity for the tenant to expand the building footprint in one of the strongest sub-markets in the country – Dallas/Fort Worth,” Bonilla was quoted as saying.

“This was a strategic purchase on behalf of the tenant — Chiquita Brands International, Inc.”

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FreshFruitPortal.com

Chiquita sees quarterly boost in banana sales but posts loss

Chiquita sees quarterly boost in banana sales but posts loss

Chiquita Brands International Inc. sales inched up 2.2 percent for the third quarter, but the Charlotte banana company still reported a loss of $ 18 million, or 38 cents per share.

The loss equalled that of the third quarter in 2013 for Chiquita (NYSE:CQB). Sales increased to $ 739 million for the latest quarter, rising from $ 723 million a year earlier. That increase was propelled by a 4 percent rise in banana sales to $ 477 million, up from $ 458 million for the third quarter of 2013.

Ed Lonergan, Chiquita CEO, calls the results the “strongest in the last five years for this period.”

“The momentum generated by Chiquita’s ‘return to the core’ strategy resulted in higher sales in our banana segment, and improved pricing in both bananas and salads and healthy snacks,” he says.

The fact that analysts had expected a loss of only 9 cents per share didn’t seem to affect the price of Chiquita shares. Shares traded up a penny from Wednesday’s closing price to $ 14.44 as the stock market opened, then settled at $ 14.43 at midmorning.

Today’s earnings report will likely be the next-to-last quarterly disclosure for Chiquita before Cutrale Group and Safra Group take the company private.

Lonergan adds that he was proud of Chiquita employees as they stayed on task as the company agreed late last month to be sold to Cutrale-Safra. The $ 1.3 billion deal was sealed after Chiquita shareholders nixed a plan for the company to buy Irish fruit supplier Fyffes plc.

Lonergan says Chiquita and Cutrale-Safra plan to complete their deal as soon as the end of the year.

Source: bizjournals.com

Publication date: 11/7/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Chiquita-Fyffes revised agreement benefits Chiquita shareholders

Chiquita Brands International Inc. and Fyffes plc have approved a revised agreement for the proposed combination of the companies. Under the terms of the amended agreement, Chiquita shareholders are expected to own approximately 59.6 percent of ChiquitaFyffes, an increase from 50.7 percent under the previous agreement.

The companies have also increased the termination fee payable to Fyffes from 1 percent to a more customary 3.5 percent of the total value of the issued share capital of Chiquita. In addition, under the revised agreement, Fyffes will also have the right to terminate the transaction if Chiquita shareholder approval is not obtained on or prior to Oct. 24, 2014. In such event, Fyffes may be entitled to a termination fee if Chiquita enters into another transaction within nine months.

“We are pleased with the increased value that these enhanced terms for Chiquita bring to our shareholders,” Ed Lonergan, Chiquita’s chief executive officer, said in a press release. “The Fyffes transaction is a natural strategic partnership that brings together two complementary companies to create a combined company that is better positioned to succeed in a highly competitive marketplace, while driving strong performance and value for shareholders as well as immediate benefits for customers and consumers worldwide.”

“The combination of Chiquita and Fyffes is strategic and compelling, creating the No. 1 banana company globally, with synergies that can only be achieved by these companies coming together,” David McCann, Fyffes executive chairman, said in the release. “This revised binding agreement, along with the additional synergies recently announced, reinforces our conviction that the Combination is the value-maximizing opportunity for both companies’ shareholders.”

Chiquita’s board has reaffirmed its recommendation that Chiquita shareholders vote for the Fyffes transaction; however, on Sept. 8 Fyffes granted Chiquita a waiver that permits it to engage in discussions with the Cutrale Group and the Safra Group, which had previously offered Chiquita a $ 611 million buyout offer.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Chiquita to reconsider previously rejected Brazilian buyout

The merger agreement Chiquita Brands International Inc. had announced with Dublin, Ireland-based Fyffes plc is once again at risk. Fyffes has granted Chiquita a waiver permitting it to engage in discussions with the Cutrale Group and the Safra Group, a pair of Brazilian companies that submitted an Aug. 11 buyout proposal.  

At the time, Chiquita said the offer was not in the best interest of its shareholders and reaffirmed its recommendation that they vote to approve the Chiquita-Fyffes merger; however, Chiquita has now sent a letter to Cutrale and Safra indicating its willingness to offer to the pair of companies the opportunity to present its final and best offer.

Chiquita also announced that the special meeting of shareholders to vote on the proposed merger with Fyffes has been postponed to Oct. 3. The meeting had been scheduled for Sept. 17.

“Chiquita does not expect to update the market with any further information unless and until the board has reached a decision on a definitive course of action,” the company said in a press release.

In the interim, Chiquita continues to recommend that its shareholders vote for the Fyffes transaction.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Chiquita to reconsider previously rejected Brazilian buyout

The merger agreement Chiquita Brands International Inc. had announced with Dublin, Ireland-based Fyffes plc is once again at risk. Fyffes has granted Chiquita a waiver permitting it to engage in discussions with the Cutrale Group and the Safra Group, a pair of Brazilian companies that submitted an Aug. 11 buyout proposal.  

At the time, Chiquita said the offer was not in the best interest of its shareholders and reaffirmed its recommendation that they vote to approve the Chiquita-Fyffes merger; however, Chiquita has now sent a letter to Cutrale and Safra indicating its willingness to offer to the pair of companies the opportunity to present its final and best offer.

Chiquita also announced that the special meeting of shareholders to vote on the proposed merger with Fyffes has been postponed to Oct. 3. The meeting had been scheduled for Sept. 17.

“Chiquita does not expect to update the market with any further information unless and until the board has reached a decision on a definitive course of action,” the company said in a press release.

In the interim, Chiquita continues to recommend that its shareholders vote for the Fyffes transaction.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Chiquita postpones merger vote, seeks new bid

Chiquita postpones merger vote, seeks new bid

Chiquita is postponing a vote on its proposed merger with the Irish fruit seller Fyffes as it awaits a new bid from another potential buyer.

Chiquita said it has received a waiver from Fyffes allowing it to hold talks with investment firm Safra Group and Brazil’s Cutrale Group, an agribusiness and juice company. Chiquita is now seeking a best and final offer from Cutrale and Safra.

Chiquita rejected a $ 611 million offer from Safra and Cutrale last month.

A special shareholders meeting to vote on the Fyffes deal, which was to take place next week, will now be held on Oct. 3.

Cutrale and Safra criticized the move, saying Chiquita is not actually open to its bid and was imposing “absurd and totally unacceptable” conditions on its offer.

Chiquita and Fyffes announced in March that they would combine to create a new company called ChiquitaFyffes PLC, based in Dublin, where Fyffes has its headquarters.

Chiquita Brands International Inc., based in Charlotte, North Carolina, also said that it is extending the employment of CEO Edward Lonergan by a year through Oct. 8, 2015. The company said that the extension would help to ensure continuity.

Shares of Chiquita fell 15 cents to $ 13.60.

Source: suntimes.com

Publication date: 9/9/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Chiquita rejects buyout offer, reaffirms plans to merge with Fyffes

Chiquita Brands International Inc. announced that its board of directors — after careful consultation with its legal and financial advisors — unanimously determined that the unsolicited buyout offer from the Cutrale Group and the Safra Group is inadequate and not in the best interests of Chiquita shareholders.

On Aug. 11 the pair of companies reached out to Chiquita in an attempt to acquire all of the outstanding stock of Chiquita for $ 13 per share in cash, which was nearly 30 percent above the share price when the offer was made. At this time Chiquita determined not to furnish information to, and have discussions and negotiations with, the Cutrale Group and the Safra Group.

Additionally, the Chiquita board of directors has unanimously reaffirmed its recommendation that Chiquita shareholders vote to approve the definitive merger agreement between Chiquita and Fyffes.

According to a press release, Chiquita remains committed to completing its transaction with Fyffes, which it believes will create a combined company that is better positioned to succeed in a highly competitive marketplace, while driving strong performance and value for shareholders.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Chiquita rejects buyout offer, reaffirms plans to merge with Fyffes

Chiquita Brands International Inc. announced that its board of directors — after careful consultation with its legal and financial advisors — unanimously determined that the unsolicited buyout offer from the Cutrale Group and the Safra Group is inadequate and not in the best interests of Chiquita shareholders.

On Aug. 11 the pair of companies reached out to Chiquita in an attempt to acquire all of the outstanding stock of Chiquita for $ 13 per share in cash, which was nearly 30 percent above the share price when the offer was made. At this time Chiquita determined not to furnish information to, and have discussions and negotiations with, the Cutrale Group and the Safra Group.

Additionally, the Chiquita board of directors has unanimously reaffirmed its recommendation that Chiquita shareholders vote to approve the definitive merger agreement between Chiquita and Fyffes.

According to a press release, Chiquita remains committed to completing its transaction with Fyffes, which it believes will create a combined company that is better positioned to succeed in a highly competitive marketplace, while driving strong performance and value for shareholders.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Fyffes tie-up with banana rival Chiquita still possible

Fyffes tie-up with banana rival Chiquita still possible

Analysts at US financial house BB&T Capital believe Chiquita will prefer a tie-up with Fyffes than the takeover, and Cutrale would need to improve its offer significantly to have a chance of success.

In a note to clients, BB&T’s Brett Hundley said the two bids were “apples and oranges” and the tax benefits of the Fyffes tie-up made it more attractive than Cutrale’s $ 13 a share offer. Mr Hundley added that regulatory issues with the Fyffes deal – it must be approved by the Irish courts as well as European Regulators – should not be overplayed.

“We have called the company’s $ 40m synergy target by 2016 as conservative. Further, we think that Chiquita-Fyffes would be an unlikely target of any US government tax inversion law, as the expected tax synergies are modest. In short, we believe that the Fyffes merger offers potential year-one value, under a number of scenarios. We think Chiquita management likely agrees with us,” he added.

Looking at the two offers, the Fyffes deal offers more value to Chiquita at present. That may change though if Cutrale and Safra make an improved offer. Anything above $ 15 a share would be much harder for Chiquita to turn down.

Fyffes shares closed down 1pc at 90c in Dublin after falling 14pc on Monday. Chiquita rose 1.5pc in New York.

Source: independent.ie

Publication date: 8/13/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Fyffes tie-up with banana rival Chiquita still possible

Fyffes tie-up with banana rival Chiquita still possible

Analysts at US financial house BB&T Capital believe Chiquita will prefer a tie-up with Fyffes than the takeover, and Cutrale would need to improve its offer significantly to have a chance of success.

In a note to clients, BB&T’s Brett Hundley said the two bids were “apples and oranges” and the tax benefits of the Fyffes tie-up made it more attractive than Cutrale’s $ 13 a share offer. Mr Hundley added that regulatory issues with the Fyffes deal – it must be approved by the Irish courts as well as European Regulators – should not be overplayed.

“We have called the company’s $ 40m synergy target by 2016 as conservative. Further, we think that Chiquita-Fyffes would be an unlikely target of any US government tax inversion law, as the expected tax synergies are modest. In short, we believe that the Fyffes merger offers potential year-one value, under a number of scenarios. We think Chiquita management likely agrees with us,” he added.

Looking at the two offers, the Fyffes deal offers more value to Chiquita at present. That may change though if Cutrale and Safra make an improved offer. Anything above $ 15 a share would be much harder for Chiquita to turn down.

Fyffes shares closed down 1pc at 90c in Dublin after falling 14pc on Monday. Chiquita rose 1.5pc in New York.

Source: independent.ie

Publication date: 8/13/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Chiquita receives $611 million buyout offer

Chiquita Brands International, which in March announced a proposed merger with Dublin, Ireland-based Fyffes plc, received an unsolicited $ 611 million buyout offer from the Cutrale Group and the Safra Group.

The pair of companies proposed to acquire 100 percent of the outstanding stock of Chiquita Brands Inc. at a price of $ 13 per share in cash to Chiquita shareholders. This proposal represents a premium of 29 percent to Chiquita’s closing share price of $ 10.06 as of Aug. 8; however, since the offer was announced Chiquita’s stock has risen to more than $ 13 per share.

The proposal was conveyed to Chiquita in a letter to Kerrii Anderson, chairwoman of the Chiquita board of directors, and Edward Lonergan, Chiquita’s president and chief executive officer.

“If we are able to proceed on a timely basis with due diligence and discussions, we will be in a position to close the transaction before the end of the year, within the same timeframe [Chiquita has] indicated for the Fyffes transaction, without the execution risk and uncertainty inherent in that transaction,” the senior management team’s Michael Rubinoff said on behalf of the Cutrale Group and the Safra Group.

“Our proposal also offers a superior valuation compared to Chiquita’s historical trading multiples,” he said in the letter. “The proposed price, including the assumption of Chiquita net debt, represents an 11.8x multiple of Chiquita’s last twelve months reported Adjusted EBITDA.”

The proposed offer is not subject to any financing conditions.

“We believe discussions of a potential transaction are now particularly timely and appropriate as a result of the dismissal of the civil claims relating to Chiquita’s alleged involvement in the actions by the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, the results from your recent second quarter earnings announcement, and the market’s valuation of the Fyffes transaction,” Rubinoff said.

The Cutrale Group, which accounts for over one-third of the $ 5 billion orange juice market, has operations that include oranges, apples, peaches, lemons and soybeans. The Safra Group is an international group of companies and assets controlled by Joseph Safra. The Safra Group, with assets under management of over $ 200 billion and aggregate stockholder equity of approximately $ 15.3 billion, operates banks and invests in other businesses.

The companies asked Chiquita to respond by noon on Friday, Aug. 15.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Drop in Q2 profit for Chiquita

Drop in Q2 profit for Chiquita

Chiquita Brands International, today released financial and operating results for the second quarter 2014. The company reported GAAP net income of $ 18 million in 2014 compared to GAAP net income of $ 31 million in 2013. GAAP operating income for 2014 was $ 37 million compared to $ 41 million in 2013. The company also reported comparable operating income ([1]) of $ 46 million for 2014 compared to comparable operating income of $ 42 million for 2013.

“Our second quarter results reflect sequential improvement versus the weather-impacted first quarter and versus year ago overall. We remain on path toward the long-term goals established with our ‘return to the core’ strategy despite substantial headwinds in the quarter and year to date,” said Ed Lonergan, Chiquita’s president and chief executive officer. “We realized value and volume sales increases in our banana operations, but reduced productivity, principally due to dry weather, on both owned and third-party farms in Central America resulted in higher sourcing costs and less fruit to sell in our weekly pricing markets, principally in Europe and the Mediterranean. In our retail salad segment, we delivered promised efficiency benefits from our Midwest plant consolidation and mix-driven pricing improvement in the quarter. We remain confident in our ability to grow this business profitably and expect to benefit in the second half of 2014 from the pricing and efficiency initiatives announced in May and which became effective in July.”

Lonergan continued, “We continue to make progress toward our proposed combination with Fyffes. We are confident this merger of equals unites highly complementary businesses and teams, and will enable us to improve service and reliability to customers while improving the efficiency of our operations. Our shareholder meeting to approve the transaction will take place on September 17, 2014, and we expect to close the transaction by the end of the year, subject to satisfaction of previously announced closing conditions.”

Source:

Publication date: 8/8/2014


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