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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.
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Title Annotation:BUSINESS BRIEFS ...
Comment:Chiquita Brands International Inc. said it will need more time to complete its acquisition of the country's leading seller of bagged salads.(BUSINESS BRIEFS ...)
Publication:Food & Drink Weekly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 2, 2005
Words:198
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