Reversing an earlier decision, Chiquita Brands International will discuss a possible sale of the company to two Brazilian firms, with whom it has signed a confidentiality agreement.
Charlotte, N.C.-based Chiquita announced Sept. 8 that Dublin-based Fyffes PLC, with whom Chiquita is set to merge, has given Chiquita permission to engage in discussions with juice maker Cutrale Group and investment firm Safra Group, according to a Chiquita news release.
On Sept. 10, the company announced it had signed a confidentiality agreement with the companies.
“Chiquita has sent a letter to Cutrale/Safra indicating its willingness to offer to Cutrale/Safra the opportunity to conduct focused due diligence and present its final and best offer,” according to the release.
In addition, a Chiquita shareholders meeting set for Sept. 17 has been pushed back to Oct. 3.
Chiquita does, however, continue to recommend, at least as of Sept. 10, that its shareholders vote for the Fyffes merger.
Under the confidentiality agreement, Cutrale and Safra will have access to a Chiquita data room and to the company’s management team.
Initially, Chiquita rejected the Brazilians’ Aug. 11 offer to buy Chiquita’s outstanding common stock for $13 per share.
Cutrale and Safra did not give up, however. The companies filed a proxy statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Aug. 14 asking shareholders of Chiquita to reject Chiquita’s proposed merger with Fyffes, which is valued at $1 billion.