The European Commission has approved the €751 million (£641 million) acquisition of Ireland-based Fyffes by Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation, concluding there are “no competition concerns”.
Under the terms of the acquisition, Swordus Ireland Holding Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Japanese giant, will buy the entire issued share capital of Fyffes.
The takeover bid was approved by shareholders of the tropical fruit distributor in mid-January.
The sale would end the tropical fruits distributor’s three-and-a-half decades as a Dublin-listed company and, according to The Irish Times, would result in an €87.5 million payment to the McCann family for their almost 12% stake.
Although this completes the competition clearances required for the transaction, the deal remains subject to the sanction in Ireland by the Court of the Scheme at the Court Hearing on February 16.
“The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of Fyffes of Ireland by Sumitomo of Japan,” the entity said.
“The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns because the companies’ activities do not overlap in the European Economic Area. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.”
Sumitomo is a major global trading company that has been active in the banana industry since the 1960s.
It is a market leader in Asia with a fully integrated business model and interests ranging from plantation operations in the Philippines to retail distribution across the continent.
Currently, the organisation imports around 30% of the bananas into the Japanese market.
Fyffes is one of the leading banana importers into Europe, as well as a major marketer of pineapples and melons.
When the merger agreement was announced in December, Fyffes chairman David McCann said the transaction represented a “compelling proposition” for shareholders.