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Fyffes deal will create a banana behemoth

Irish fruit firm Fyffes is to merge with US-based rival Chiquita in a deal creating the world's largest banana company.

The proposed new business will be called ChiquitaFyffes and generate revenues of $4.6bn (€3.3bn) from the sale of more than 160 million banana boxes a year, as well as melons and pineapples.

Dublin-based Fyffes, which also sells products under the Sol brand, employs more than 12,000 people worldwide.

Chiquita is the larger of the two firms with annual revenues of $3bn (€2.16bn) and 20,000 staff.

Shareholders in the North Carolina-based company will own 50.7pc of the combined business following the merger, which values Fyffes at $526m (€379m).


The existing brands will be retained but customers will have access to a more diverse product mix and choice, the two companies said.

Fyffes executive chairman David McCann, who will become chief executive of the merged business, said: "Our outstanding employees will benefit from working for a larger, more diverse business which offers opportunities for growth.

"We believe we will be able to use our joint expertise, complementary assets and geographic coverage to develop a business that can run smoothly and efficiently to better partner with our customers and suppliers."

Fyffes currently employs about 4,000 people in the UK and Ireland.