Chiquita subject of $611m bid to rival Fyffes merger

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Two Brazilian companies have made a $611m (£363m) bid for US banana group Chiquita.

Juice maker Cutrale and conglomerate Safra have offered $13 a share, a 29% premium to Chiquita's closing share price on Friday.

Chiquita shares jumped 31% in New York after the bid was announced.

The offer rivals the proposed merger between Chiquita and Irish fruit firm Fyffes, announced in March. Shares in Fyffes fell 15% in London.

The merger would create the world's largest banana company worth $1bn.

But the two Brazilian companies said their offer "is clearly more favourable to the Chiquita shareholders than the proposed merger with Fyffes".

The global banana market is currently controlled by four firms, Chiquita, Dole Food Company, Fresh Del Monte and Fyffes, according to the United Nations.

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