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Chiquita postpones meeting on Fyffes to October

September 8, 2014

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — 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.

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