Banana firm ripe for £633m Japanese takeover

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It confirmed on Friday a cash offer valuing the firm at €751.4m (£633m) had been received from Sumitomo Corporation – a big banana player in Asia with 30% of the Japanese market.

The offer represented a 49% premium on Fyffes current value, it said, and remained the subject of a shareholder vote and regulatory clearance under Irish takeover rules.

Fyffes is attractive in that it has a market presence worldwide in popular fruit and veg including bananas – its biggest interest – and also pineapples, melons and mushrooms following recent acquisitions of its own.

It employs 17,000 people.

Chairman David McCann said: “We believe this transaction represents a compelling proposition for our shareholders and crystallises the substantial value created in recent years through the various strategic developments and the strong operating performance of our group.

“Our employees, customers, suppliers and joint venture partners will benefit from Fyffes being part of an enlarged group with greater scale, reach and resources to broaden and accelerate delivery of Fyffes’ strategic objectives.”

Hirohiko Imura, Sumitomo’s managing executive officer, added: “Sumitomo Corporation has long admired Fyffes for its outstanding track record and market leading position, and we are delighted that the Fyffes Directors have unanimously agreed to recommend our offer to shareholders.

“We believe that our offer represents a great reward for Fyffes’ shareholders.”

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