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Fyffes-Chiquita merger drama

A merger between Fyffes and Chiquita is still likely to be a more attractive option to shareholders at both fruit firms despite the latest effort by Cutrale-Safra to derail the planned marriage, according to Irish brokers.

Cutrale-Safra tabled a definitive cash offer of $14 per share for Chiquita on Wednesday, as it battles to take over the US fruit firm before it merges with Fyffes.

That offer is about 8pc, or $1, more than it was previously prepared to pay to buy Chiquita. It values Chiquita at $658m.

"We do not believe this offer blows the Fyffes transaction out of the picture like the sell-off in Fyffes' share price would suggest," Patrick Higgins from Goodbody Stockbrokers said.