UPDATE 2-EU to clear Chiquita, Fyffes banana deal

miércoles 24 de septiembre de 2014 11:23 GYT

* Deal will create the world's largest banana supplier

* Companies offered concessions last week to allay EU concerns

* Chiquita also talking to Cutrale, Safra on rival $611 mln bid (Adds Fyffes, Cutrale, Safra not immediately available to comment)

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS, Sept 24 (Reuters) - U.S. company Chiquita and Irish peer Fyffes are set to secure conditional EU approval for their $526 million tie-up to create the world's largest banana producer, two people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

The merged company will have a 14 percent share of the $7 billion global banana market, giving it significant clout in negotiating with retailers.

Chiquita and Fyffes, which compete with Fresh Del Monte and Hawaii-founded Dole Food Company, offered concessions to the Commission last week to allay competition concerns, but did not provide details.

Industry experts say these may include an offer to sell overlapping businesses or import licences and making it easier for local ripeners to do deals with the company.

"It's expected to be phase 1 clearance," said one of the people, referring to the European Commission's preliminary review.   Continuación...