Italian food multinational Cirio is poised for to take 100% control of Del Monte Royal Holdings, the South African fruit and vegetable company and is ready to pay Lit430bn for the shares still controlled by South African interests. The reports on Cirio’s willingness and ability to buy the remaining shares (Cirio has already bought 70% of Del Monte shares) is pushing the value of Cirio’s shares on the stock exchange. They gained 4% (up to €0.23) at the close of markets Friday, 17 September 2000 after heavy trading (9.5 million shares changes hands compared to the daily average of 2.2 million shares).

Analysts say the Cirio-Del Monte saga is at its final act after approval by the South African Stock Exchange for Cirio’s offer to buy the remaining stocks. Cirio will pay Lit240bn for Del Monte’s floating stocks and Lit190bn to Vivien Imerman, the South African entrepreneur who still owns 24% of the shares of Del Monte. Cirio says it has already raised that sum through recent Eurobonds.