Chiquita Brands International Inc. said it will need more time to complete its acquisition of the country's leading seller of bagged salads.
Chiquita Brands International Inc. said it will need more time to
complete its acquisition of the country's leading seller of bagged
salads. Spokesman Mike Mitchell said the delay won't change the
terms of Chiquita's $855 million cash purchase of Fresh Express,
the salad subsidiary of Performance Food Group Co. of Richmond, Va.
Chiquita, a leading grower of bananas, announced on February 23 that it
had reached a deal that would be completed around the end of April. The
company said that the closing date would be pushed back. Chiquita wants
to buy Fresh Express to diminish its reliance on banana sales, which
currently accounts for 56 percent of its revenues. The deal would make
Chiquita the leader in bagged salads. Fresh Express controls about 40
percent of an estimated $2.7 billion market for packaged salads.
Chiquita says the market is growing by about 10 percent annually. The
deal also would give Chiquita a bigger presence in the fresh-cut fruit
market. Chiquita currently sells cut fruit in 10 Midwestern states.
Fresh Express fruit products are sold in about 85 percent of the
country. Chiquita said more details would come by May 10 when it files
its quarterly report.