The previously reported plan for banana producer Chiquita to merge with Fyffes, which would have seen the two companies search for synergies in their shipping operations, has been axed. The two fruit suppliers said that the deal had been cancelled when Chiquita said it would instead enter into discussions with Brazil’s Cutrale Group and Safra Group after they increased their offer. Chiquita Fyffes would have had the seventh- largest reefer fleet with 18 vessels and 297,000 cubic metres of capacity, excluding containerships. This would account for 5% of the overall market.
Fyffes largely relies on conventional reefer ships through Fyffes Atlantic Shipping and 50% ownership in container carrier Geest Line. Meanwhile, the Chiquita-operated Great White Fleet has been increasingly moving its business to containers by deploying its own vessels or taking slots from other operators.