Chiquita Brands International has rejected an overture by two Brazilian companies to buy the company.
Charlotte, N.C.-based Chiquita’s board of directors said the bid, by juice maker Cutrale and investment firm Safra Group, was “inadequate and not in the best interests of Chiquita shareholders,” according to an Aug. 14 letter from Chiquita executives to the two companies.
The Brazilian companies made an unsolicited bid, announced Aug. 11, to buy Chiquita’s outstanding common stock for $13 per share.
The offer came as Chiquita and Dublin-based Fyffes PLC wait for their shareholders to approve a proposed merger of the two companies and for final regulatory approval of the deal.
The proposed $1 billion Chiquita/Fyffes merger took a step forward June 2 with the expiration of a waiting period for U.S. antitrust review of the deal.
In its letter to Cutrale and Safra Group, Chiquita said its board “continues to strongly believe in the strategic merits and value provided by the proposed transaction with Fyffes.”
The Brazilians’ bid was 29% higher than Chiquita’s closing stock price on Aug. 8, according to media reports.
Shares of Chiquita rose more than 30% Aug. 11 in response to the Brazilians’ offer. Shares of Fyffes fell 13%.