Irish firm becomes biggest banana supplier

Irish firm becomes biggest banana supplier

Irish-based fruit company Fyffes is set to merge with its main rivals Chiquita to create the world's largest banana supplier.

The new company will be called ChiquitaFyffes and could generate revenues of around £3bn through the sale of 160m banana boxes a year.It will have an operating presence in more than 70 countries and a workforce of around 32,000 people.Dublin-based Fyffes, which also sells products under the Sol brand, employs more than 12,000 people worldwide.Chiquita is the larger of the two firms with annual revenues of £1.8bn and 20,000 staff.Shareholders in the North Carolina-based company will own just over half of the new combined business and the deal values Fyffes at just over £300m.In the new deal both brand names will be retained.Fyffes executive chairman David McCann, who will become chief executive of the merged business, said: "Our outstanding employees will benefit from working for a larger, more diverse business which offers opportunities for growth."We believe we will be able to use our joint expertise, complementary assets and geographic coverage to develop a business that can run smoothly and efficiently to better partner with our customers and suppliers."Fyffes began trading in the 1880s when the first commercial delivery of bananas from the Canary Islands arrived in London for EW Fyffe, Son & Co.The world's oldest fruit brand came into being in 1929 with the famous blue label and its bananas are sourced in the Tropics from countries such as Costa Rica, Guatemala and Colombia.It currently employs about 4,000 people in the UK and Ireland.


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