Oct 24 (Reuters) - Chiquita Brands International Inc said Brazilian juice maker Grupo Cutrale and investment firm Safra Group’s sweetened offer was not superior to its proposed merger with Irish rival Fyffes Plc, which the banana producer’s shareholders will put to a vote on Friday.
Chiquita will only continue discussions with Cutrale-Safra, if its shareholders do not approve the merger with Fyffes, the company said in a statement.
Cutrale-Safra raised its all-cash offer to $14.50 per share from $14 on Thursday, valuing Chiquita at about $682 million.
Fyffes and Chiquita said recently that the implied value of their potential deal ranged from $15.46-$20.01 per share.
Proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services said on Thursday that although it was reluctant to change its recommendation before the vote, Cutrale-Safra’s revised offer might be “more compelling to some shareholders”. The firm had earlier recommended the merger with Fyffes.
Chiquita’s shareholder meeting is scheduled to start at 9:00 a.m. ET.
Chiquita’s shares rose 0.6 percent to $13.84 in premarket trading. (Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bangalore; Editing by Simon Jennings)