Japanese firm plucks fruit giant Fyffes in £638m deal

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Irish fruit giant Fyffes is to be acquired by Japan's Sumitomo Corporation in a deal which values the firm at 751.37 million euros (£637.9 million).

Sumitomo will pay 2.23 euros (£1.89) in cash for each Fyffes share, a premium of 49% of the firm's closing share price on Thursday.

Hirohiko Imura, director and managing executive officer of Sumitomo, said: "Sumitomo Corporation has long admired Fyffes for its outstanding track record and market-leading position, and we are delighted that the Fyffes directors have unanimously agreed to recommend our offer to shareholders.

"We believe that our offer represents a great reward for Fyffes' shareholders."

In September, Fyffes itself acquired Canada's All Seasons Mushrooms in a 41 million euro (£34.8 million) deal, marking its second such acquisition in just six months. It follows the takeover of Ontario-based company Highline Produce in April.

Of the Sumitomo deal, Fyffes chairman David McCann said: "We believe this transaction represents a compelling proposition for our shareholders and crystallises the substantial value created in recent years through the various strategic developments and the strong operating performance."