Banana giant Chiquita on Thursday rejected a sweetened takeover bid from a pair of Brazilian companies, and confirmed its support for a merger with Irish fruit producer Fyffes.
Chiquita's board concluded that Wednesday's offer from the Brazilian Cutrale Group consortium "is inadequate and not in the best interest of Chiquita shareholders," the company said.
Cutrale, a juice exporter, and investment bank Safra Group tendered an offer of $14 per share offer for Chiquita, a bid valued at $658 million.
Chiquita in August rejected a $611 million bid from the Brazilian pair.
Chiquita reaffirmed its support of its proposal to buy Fyffes, which would create the world's biggest banana producer with some $4.6 billion in annual revenues. That bid won approval from European Union competition regulators on October 3.
The Chiquita-Fyffes transaction "maintains the shareholders ability to realize significantly greater value than $14.00 per share, without losing any control premium that shareholders may receive in the future," Chiquita said.
Chiquita previously postponed a shareholder vote on a merger with Fyffes from September to October 24, after inviting the Brazilian firms to make a counter-offer.