CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Banana distributor Chiquita Brands International Inc. says it is rejecting the US$611-million buyout offer from investment firm Safra Group and the Brazilian agribusiness and juice company Cutrale Group.
Chiquita says the offer is not in the best interest of shareholders.
Instead, it will focus on a combination with Fyffes plc of Ireland.
The two companies agreed in March to merge in a stock-for-stock deal to create the world’s biggest banana supplier.
Chiquita said the Fyffes combination will create a more competitive company.
If a transaction were to occur between Chiquita and Fyffes, Chiquita’s headquarters would move across the Atlantic from Charlotte, N.C., to Dublin, Ireland, a more tax-efficient corporate base.