Chiquita Brands says it is rejecting a $611 million buyout offer — a reassuring move for prospects of the Port of New Orleans getting the company’s banana-shipping operations.
Chiquita shot down the offer made Monday by investment firm Safra Group and the Brazilian agribusiness and juice company Cutrale Group.
Chiquita said Thursday the offer is not in the best interest of shareholders. Instead, it will focus on a combination with Fyffes of Ireland. The two companies agreed in March to merge in a stock-for-stock deal to create the world’s biggest banana supplier.
Chiquita said Thursday that the Fyffes combination will create a more competitive company.
Even if the other deal had gone through, port and state officials had said Tuesday that it would not derail Chiquita’s plans to move its banana-shipping operations to New Orleans.
Chiquita announced the New Orleans move in May. An LSU study shows Chiquita would create 240 to 350 new direct and support jobs.