Cutrale Group and Safra Group have returned to the bargaining table with an increased offer of US$14.50 per share for Chiquita Brands International.
The new offer is the third made for the US produce giant, which is looking to merge with Ireland’s Fyffes.
Last week, the juice maker and private-equity firm upped its original bid from US$13 per share to US$14 per share. Chiquita rejected this, saying it was still not in the best interests of shareholder.
Cutrale and Safra said the latest offer represented a “compelling premium of approximately 14% compared to the closing price of Chiquita shares on October 22, 2014, a price that we believe substantially overstates the value of the Fyffes transaction as it is still very much incorporating support by the Cutrale-Safra offer”.
Independent investor advisory firms have been divided over which is the more beneficial offer for Chiquita shareholders. On 20 October, Institutional Shareholder Services changed its decision on a previous recommendation that Chiquita should not push forward with plans to merge with Fyffes. Instead it advised its clients to vote ‘for’ the deal. A day later, Glass Lewis said it believed there were “greater options” than the ChiquitaFyffes deal and advised clients to vote against the merger.