NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Wynnefield Capital, a long-term holder of Chiquita Brands (NYSE:CQB), owning 1,646,103 shares or 3.5% of the company, today alerted fellow Chiquita Brands shareholders to further warning signs about the proposed Chiquita-Fyffes transaction, including:
- Today, the proxy advisory firm of Glass Lewis recommended that shareholders vote AGAINST the Chiquita-Fyffes transaction, saying that it believes that “…the board’s case continues to leave more than a reasonable degree of doubt as to whether the revised Fyffes combination is the best option available to Chiquita investors – a position highlighted by, but not dependent upon, the presence of an interested third party bidder” and that, “… under the present conditions, we believe the best option available to shareholders is to reject the current arrangement and provide maximum flexibility to the board to conduct a more circumspect analysis of the potentially superior alternatives available to Chiquita.”
Wynnefield yesterday announced that it rejects the Fyffes scheme backed by the Chiquita board as offering inferior value, and that it supports instead the $14.00-per-share all-cash offer made by the Cutrale-Safra Group.
- Yesterday, in the wake of ISS’ recommendation of support for the Chiquita-Fyffes scheme, Chiquita Brands’ share price fell by about 4.2% on a day the broader markets were flat to slightly up – closing at $12.80, or about $1.20 per share below the competing $14.00-per-share offer made by the Cutrale-Safra Group; and
- A new report from a top-ranked securities analyst at a firm backing the Chiquita-Fyffes transaction admitted “somewhat disappointing” indications for banana pricing this contracting season, that 2015 pricing “increases should be difficult to come by,” and that the merger with Fyffes would “likely not [be beneficial to pricing] in a meaningful way” in the North American market in 2015
All of this confirms Wynnefield’s analysis that, contrary to the purported rationale for the Chiquita-Fyffes scheme, Chiquita Brands competes in a commodity agricultural business in which projections are difficult to make and in which valuations (both for public and private companies) remain constrained.
ABOUT WYNNEFIELD CAPITAL, INC.
Established in 1992, Wynnefield Capital, Inc. is a value investor specializing in U.S. small cap situations that have company- or industry-specific catalysts.