For additional details, please see "Brazilians boost bid for Chiquita on eve of shareholder vote"

Chiquita shareholders reject Fyffes mergerChiquita Brands international Inc. expects to enter negotiations with Brazilian companies in the wake of an Oct. 24 shareholder vote against the proposed $1 billion merger with Dublin-based Fyffes Plc.

Officials with Chiquita and Fyffes had been working on the deal since at least March, but an unsolicited bid in August from Brazil’s juice giant Cutrale Group and investment bank Safra Group began a downhill slide for the deal.

The merger with Fyffes would have made the new company the top banana firm in the world’s $7 billion banana market.

“While we are convinced they would have been a strong merger partner, we will now go forward as competitors,” Ed Lonergan, CEO of the Charlotte, N.C.-based Chiquita said in a news release.

“Given today’s results, we have determined to terminate the agreement with Fyffes and to engage with Cutrale/Safra regarding its revised offer.”

That revised offer of $14.50 per share, compared to Fyffes $13, is good until Oct. 26, according to a release from the Brazilian firms on Oct. 17.

“Chiquita notes that no definitive agreement with Cutrale/Safra has been reached and there can be no assurances that any transaction will result from these discussions. Chiquita does not expect to update the market with any further information unless and until the board has reached a final decision,” according to the Chiquita release.