Tuesday 27 June 2017

Investors approve €751m takeover of Irish firm Fyffes

Fyffes is a global player in fruit distribution, with sales of €1.2bn and profits of €46m. Photo: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg
Fyffes is a global player in fruit distribution, with sales of €1.2bn and profits of €46m. Photo: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Shareholders voted overwhelmingly to sell Fyffes to Japanese investment giant Sumitomo Corporation at a meeting in Dublin yesterday.

A motion to back the €751m sale of the Irish company was backed by more than 99pc of Fyffes shareholders who voted at an extraordinary general meeting.

Sumitomo shareholders also approved the scheme, which was announced on December 9, paving the way for the transaction to close in the second half of February.

The final timing will depend on regulatory approval and sanction by the High Court in Dublin of a scheme of arrangement to execute the transaction.

The overwhelming support from Fyffes shareholders reflects the 37pc premium being paid by Sumitomo, relative to the share price prior to the announcement.

The sale will mean a payout of around €87.5m to the McCann family who have led the business for six decades.

Fyffes is a global player in fruit distribution, with sales of €1.2bn and profits of €46m.

It distributes about 47 million cases of bananas a year in Europe, and a US subsidiary distributes 10 million a year in America. Fyffes also distributes 10 million cases of pineapples a year, and 17 million cases of winter melons in the United States.

The sale to Sumitomo is not expected to lead to immediate changes at Fyffes though over time it is likely to be absorbed into the new parent's own Asia-focused fruit business.

Shares in Fyffes traded at the €2.23 offer level yesterday, after the sale was approved by shareholders.

Irish Independent

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