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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cutrale-Safra sweeten Chiquita bid, say offer is 'definitive', (NYSE: CQB)

Juice maker Grupo Cutrale and investment firm Safra Group on Wednesday raised an offer to acquire U.S.-based Chiquita Brands International Inc in another attempt to scuttle the U.S.-based company's plans to combine with Irish rival Fyffes Plc.In a statement, Cutrale-Safra announced an all-cash "definitive offer" to acquire Chiquita's outstanding shares for $14 each, up from $13 in a prior proposal made on Aug. 11. The sweetened offer values Chiquita at about $658 million, or about 12.4 times annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization.A successful bid would turn billionaires Joseph Safra and Jos� Luis Cutrale into the global kings of breakfast by giving them a large share of the world's tropical fruits market and boosting their negotiating clout with supermarkets. Chiquita agreed in March to merge with Fyffes to create the world's biggest banana supplier.Cutrale-Safra's new offer represents premiums of about 40 percent to Chiquita's Aug. 8 closing share price and 19 percent to Chiquita's price based on the revised terms of the Fyffes merger. Cutrale and Safra plan to pay for Chiquita with equity from their subsidiaries, with Safra-controlled bank J. Safra Sarasin AG extending a tender proposal for Chiquita's senior secured notes due in 2021.

Chiquita Brands International, Inc. (CBII), along with its subsidiaries, is an international marketer and distributor of bananas and other fresh produce, sold under the Chiquita and other brand names in 70 countries, and packaged salads sold under the Fresh Express and other brand names primarily in the United States. Shares of CQB traded higher by 3.8% or $0.5/share to $13.66. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $9.24 and as high as $14.43. On average, 647874 shares of CQB exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 601309.