Chiquita signs confidentiality agreement with potential buyers

MarketsAssociated Press

Not a month after flatly rejecting a takeover bid by two Brazilian companies, Chiquita is softening its stance and will open its books to them.

Should Chiquita eventually see eye-to-eye with the investment firm Safra Group and Cutrale Group, a juice company, it could scuttle a tie up with the Irish fruit company Fyffes, a merger that is far along in the process.

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Chiquita did not elaborate Wednesday on why it has now signed a confidentiality agreement with the Brazilian group, but it has been pressured to do so by two proxy advisory firms.

There has also been pushback on a national level against the type of deal Chiquita is trying to arrange with Fyffes, which would move the banana company's headquarters to Dublin and lower its U.S. tax rate.