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Sumitomo secures permission from European Commission to acquire Fyffes

Published 02 February 2017

Sumitomo’s subsidiary Swordus Ireland has received permission European Commission to acquire Fyffes, an Ireland-based company producing and selling fruits.

Final completion of the transaction remains subject to Court of the Scheme dated 16 February 2017.

With the €751m deal proposed in last December, Sumitomo plans to expand its fruit imports in Japan.

As part of the deal, Sumitomo will pay about €2.23 in cash for each share. Fyffes has an annual turnover of about €1.2bn and it imports about 30% of bananas to Japan.

When the proposal for acquisition was made last December, Sumitomo representative director, managing executive officer Hirohiko Imura noted that the company will offer the Irish fruit grower with its know-how apart from offering support and investment to consolidate on its skills and experience for further growth.

Imura added: “We have significant experience in the produce sector and look forward to working with Fyffes' executive directors, senior management and employees, customers and other stakeholders to strengthen Fyffes' already impressive market position through continued investment.

“We look forward to working with the Fyffes team to further develop the business over the longer-term and to expanding into new markets to better serve customers."

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 of our Group.

Fyffes was founded in 1888 by Thomas Fyffe, a London-based food wholesaler and a fruit dealer named Hudson to import bananas from Canary Island. The two people formed the company Fyffe & Hudson.

The success of the business prompted another company named Elder Dempster to follow suit. In 1901, the two businesses Elder Dempster and Fyffe & Hudson merged forming Elders & Fyffes.