chiquita brands intl (CQB) Key Developments
Chiquita Settles Lawsuit over Green Marketing
Dec 23 14
Chiquita has reached a settlement in a lawsuit over its claims of environmentally friendly production, which a Seattle nonprofit alleges amounts to deceptive marketing. Now the group - Water and Sanitation Health, or Wash - has filed an additional lawsuit against the Rainforest Alliance, claiming that the environmental organization is also responsible for unfair marketing because it certified Chiquita farms as sustainable. In a statement, the Rainforest Alliance called Wash's allegations untrue and said it stands by its auditing practices. The environmental group also objected to the lawsuit's charges that the alliance sells its endorsement. Wash sued the Chiquita at the end of the year 2014, saying that the company's fruit distributor's partner farms in southern Guatemala have contaminated drinking water with fertilizers and fungicides - and have air-dropped pesticides perilously close to schools and homes. Wash unknowingly and unintentionally helped fund 'significant environmental harm to ecosystems' when it bought Chiquita bananas, the now-settled suit alleges. The new suit, filed claims the Rainforest Alliance is also complicit because the group certified Chiquita farms and advertised its collaboration with the fruit company. The Chiquita settlement prevents Wash from pursuing further legal action against the company. The allegations raised in these lawsuits come at a moment when it is growing more difficult for companies to get away with making false environmental claims, a practice known as green washing. The results, the lawsuit alleges, show nitrate as much as 10 times the levels considered safe for infants by the World Health Organization.
Chiquita Brands International Inc. Announces Unaudited Consolidated Earnings Results for the Third Quarter and Nine Months Ended September 30, 2014; Provides Capital Expenditure Guidance for the Fiscal Year 2014
Nov 6 14
Chiquita Brands International Inc. announced unaudited consolidated earnings results for the third quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2014. For the quarter, the company reported net sales of $739 million against $723 million a year ago. Operating loss was $1 million against operating income of $1 million a year ago. Loss before income taxes was $17 million against $14 million a year ago. Net loss was $18 million or $0.38 per diluted share against $18 million or $0.38 per diluted share a year ago. Operating cash flow was $2 million against $29 million a year ago. Capital expenditures were $14 million compared to $15 million a year ago. Adjusted EBITDA was $26 million compared to $18 million a year ago. The company reported comparable operating income of $12 million compared to comparable operating income of $2 million for 2013.
For the nine months, the company reported net sales of $2,326 million against $2,309 million a year ago. Operating income was $36 million against operating loss of $67 million a year ago. Loss before taxes was $14 million against profit before taxes of $20 million a year ago. Net loss was $25 million or $0.53 per diluted share against net profit of $16 million or $0.33 per diluted share a year ago. Operating cash flow was $41 million against $92 million a year ago. Capital expenditures were $39 million compared to $36 million a year ago.
For the fiscal year 2014, the company expects capital expenditures of $55-$60 million. The company management believes that the company remains on glidepath to its long term EBIT margin targets - to achieve run-rate target EBIT margins of 4% for Bananas and 7-8% for Salads by the end of 2015.
ChiquitaFYFFES Files Form 15
Nov 5 14
ChiquitaFYFFES Limited announced that it has filed a Form 15 with the Securities and Exchange Commission to voluntarily deregister its Ordinary shares, nominal value, $0.01 per share under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.
Investor Files Lawsuit Against Chiquita Brands International Inc. to Stop the Proposal of Takeover by Fyffes plc
Oct 20 14
The Shareholders Foundation Inc. announced that an investor, who currently holds shares of Chiquita Brands International Inc. (CQB), filed a lawsuit in effort to stop the proposed takeover of Chiquita Brands International Inc. by Fyffes plc. On March 10, 2014, Chiquita Brands International Inc. and Fyffes plc announced that the Boards of Directors of both companies have approved an agreement under which Chiquita Brands International Inc. will combine with Fyffes plc. On August 11, 2014, Chiquita Brands International Inc. confirmed that it has received an offer from the Cutrale Group and the Safra Group to acquire all of the outstanding common stock of Chiquita at a price of $13.00 per share in cash to Chiquita shareholders. On August 14, 2014, Chiquita Brands International Inc. rejected the offer. Then on September 26, 2014, Chiquita Brands International Inc. (CQB) and Fyffes plc announced that the Boards of Directors of both companies have approved a revised agreement for the proposed combination of Chiquita Brands International Inc. and Fyffes plc. However, the plaintiff claims that the implied value that CQB shareholders were to receive pursuant to the original Fyffes transaction announced on March 10, 2014 was only approximately $10 and that the revised transaction announced on September 26, 2014 would only value the Chiquita shares at $11.89 per share. The plaintiff also says that under the new terms of the transaction, the Termination Fee increased from 1.0% of its equity value to 3.5% of its equity value, should Chiquita Brands International accept a 'Superior Proposal', or negotiate with an unsolicited 'Alternative Proposal'' and that this alleged onerous Termination Fee is a deal protection device that substantially reduces the possibility that Chiquita Brands International Inc. would be sold to Cutrale-Safra, or any other third-party bidder, as any competing bidder would essentially be required to pay a naked premium for the right to provide Chiquita Brands International's stockholders with a superior offer.
Chiquita Brands International Inc. Appoints Craig Stephen as Senior Vice President
Oct 16 14
Chiquita Brands International Inc. announced that it has appointed Craig Stephen as the new senior vice president, or SVP, of sales & marketing for Fresh Express. Mr. Stephen will have responsibility for Fresh Express sales, marketing and customer service operations, as the company continues to provide expanded category offerings in retail value-added and private label salads. Mr. Stephen served more than twenty years with Chiquita, leading the turnaround of the Company's North America Banana business from 2007 to 2012 as vice president & General Manager for the company North America. He grew his career with Chiquita in a variety of global operational and planning roles in North America, Europe and Asia. Most recently, Mr. Stephen has been the Chief Strategy Officer for N2N Global. He has been a member of or contributor to a number of industry associations. Mr. Stephen has served the produce industry through his involvement in the Produce Marketing Association where he is currently on the Board of Directors and a member of various PMA Committees.