World's Biggest Banana Firm Is Born

Chiquita, Fyffes merge
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 10, 2014 11:29 AM CDT
Chiquita Deal Births World's Biggest Banana Firm
Chiquita bananas are on display at a grocery store in Bainbridge, Ohio, in this Aug. 3, 2005 file photo.   (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta, File)

Yes, they have more bananas: Fruit supply companies Chiquita of the United States and Fyffes of Ireland announced today they had agreed to merge to create the world's biggest banana supplier. The two companies said the merger would create a banana behemoth that ships more than 160 million crates worldwide, about a quarter more than either of their main rivals, Dole and Del Monte. ChiquitaFyffes, which will be headquartered in Dublin, also would become the world's No. 3 distributor of pineapples and melons.

Fyffes is Europe's biggest banana importer and the oldest industry brand, dating to 1929. David McCann, Fyffes' chairman, will become chief executive officer of the combined company, while the chief executive of Chiquita, Ed Lonergan, will become its chairman. However, shoppers used to seeing bananas bearing the bold blue stickers of Chiquita or Fyffes aren't expected to notice any difference there. The two brands are staying separate. The deal requires shareholder and regulatory approval in Ireland and the US. (More Chiquita stories.)

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