‘Ap-peel-ing’ takeover deal worth €751m for Fyffes

Freddy
Fyffes has recorded a strong performance, with Freddy Fyffes mascot appealing to the children's market

Deal thought to be a good fit between the largest banana distributors in Europe (Fyffes) and Asia (Sumitomo)

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13 December 2016 | 0

Japanese trading company Sumitomo Corporation has entered into a generous takeover deal worth €751m with tropical fruits importer, Fyffes.

The Sunday Independent reports Sumitomo’s business includes 800 companies, with an involvement in the banana industry since the 1960s.  In fact, Sumitomo has a market-leading position in Asia, representing approximately 30% of the bananas imported into the Japanese market.

Majority Fyffes owners, the McCann family have endorsed the plan. “We’re very pleased that our two largest shareholders with a combined 25% have given irrevocable undertakings in support of the deal,” a spokeswoman for the company said.

Fyffes has a rich history, first beginning life in 1888 as EW Fyffe & Son in London. Then in 1902, Charles McCann opened a greengrocers on Clanbrassil Street in Dundalk, becoming the first agent for Fyffes in Ireland.

The McCann family has led Fyffes since the 1950s, overseeing the rise of the firm to became a major player in the global fruit sector. When it floated on the stockmarket in 1981, annual sales stood at €30m. However last year, Fyffes recorded sales of €1.2bn and profits of €46m.

According to Goodbody analyst Patrick Higgins: “The offer from Sumitomo represents a compelling premium which realises a lot of its future potential.

“Fyffes will benefit from the greater scale, reach and resources of a much larger group. The two groups also have highly complementary business as the largest banana distributors in Europe (Fyffes) and Asia (Sumitomo),” he added.

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