Proposed merger of Fyffes and Chiquita clears US hurdle

Tie-up remains subject to other regulatory clearances and approval by shareholders

Tue, Jun 3, 2014, 17:08

The proposed $1 billion merger of rival banana brands Fyffes and Chiquita has cleared a major regulatory hurdle in the US.

On Monday, the waiting period for US antitrust review of the deal expired, essentially satisfying one condition to the closing of the transaction.

The deal, which remains subject to other regulatory clearances and approval by shareholders of both companies, will create a new entity called ChiquitaFyffes.

The new merged entity will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange but domiciled in Ireland, and will have combined annual revenues of $4.6 billion (€3.3 billion).

ChiquitaFyffes will have an operating presence in more than 70 countries and a workforce of approximately 32,000 people around the world. It will also have a “significant presence” in the global market for packaged salads, melons and pineapples.

The two companies amended the conditions of their proposed merger in April to reflect mandatory jurisdiction of the European Commission.

The original conditions said the merger would not meet the mandatory notification thresholds under the EC merger regulation.

As a result, the European Commission would have jurisdiction to examine the deal only if the EU states with jurisdiction to review the transaction did not object, or the European Commission accepted a request from one or more EU Member States to review all or part of the transaction.