Creating Biggest Banana Supplier
Chiquita Brands International Inc., (CQB) owner of the namesake banana label, agreed to buy Ireland's Fyffes Plc (FFY) to create the world's biggest supplier of the fruit for about 403 million euros ($559 million).
The merger would make ChiquitaFyffes the world's No. 1 supplier of bananas, catapulting it past Dole Food Co. David McCann, currently Fyffes's executive chairman, will become chief executive of the new company, while Chiquita's chief executive, Ed Lonergan, will be chairman. The new company is positioned to exploit growing global demand for bananas, supported by improvements to shipping which allow the yellow fruit to stay fresh for longer. Exports of bananas increased by 7.3% in 2012 to an all-time high of 16.5 million tons, according to the United Nations. Bloomberg News
Two banana giants, one with operations in Belize, have announced plan to merge. Fyffes, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, and with an office in Independence, Belize and extensive banana plantations in Stann Creek District and some in Toledo District, plans to merge with Charlotte, NC-based Chiquita, which has plantations in Honduras and elsewhere in Central America but none in Belize. Chiquita stockholders will control about 51% of the new company, which is to be called ChiquitaFyffes The US$1 billion all-stock deal will make ChiquitaFyffes the largest banana producer in the world, surpassing Dole Food Co. Fyffes, originally an English company and a subsidiary of United Fruit​ Co.​ has dominated banana exports from Belize since United Fruit abandoned production in British Honduras in the 1920s and 30s due to Panama disease. Fyffes ships bananas ​from Big Creek mostly ​to Europe. Belize today has over 6,000 acres in banana production, mainly in Stann Creek and Toledo districts. The impact of the planned merger on Fyffes' operations in Belize is unknown.