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Europe reviews planned merger

THE European Commission is reviewing the planned merger between banana giants Fyffes and Chiquita.

The EU's competition wing will examine the deal and is expected to make a decision on September 19. The European Commission has 25 working days after a deal is filed for a first-stage review.

It may extend that by 10 working days to 35 working to consider either a company's proposed remedies or an EU member state's request to handle the case.

Fyffes scored a major victory in the battle to merge with Chiquita last week after the latter's shareholders rejected a rival bid.

Fyffes and Chiquita agreed merger terms last March, but last Monday the Brazilian duo of Safra and Cutrale made a rival bid for Chiquita that seemed to dwarf the Fyffes offer.