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Chiquita Closing North Carolina HQ After Buyout

Chiquita bananas

Last updated on January 16th, 2015 at 11:58 am

Following its recent acquisition by the Cutrale-Safra Group, Chiquita Brands International will close its corporate headquarters in North Carolina.

The banana producer’s Charlotte operations, where about 300 employees work, will shut down over the next year to 18 months, interim CEO Brian Kocher said. His statement to employees didn’t describe where the headquarters would be relocated, according to WRAL.com.

The announcement comes a week after Chiquita’s completed buyout valued at approximately $1.3 billion by Brazilian juice company Cutrale Group and investment firm Safra Group, headed by Brazilian billionaire Joseph Safra. Chiquita will become a subsidiary of the Cutrale-Safra Group.

The city and North Carolina state officials offered Chiquita more than $23 million to move its headquarters from Cincinnati in 2011. The deal was described as including a payback provision if the company left within 10 years, WRAL.com reports.

“Chiquita’s leadership has assured us that the company will fulfill the obligations outlined in the economic development grant agreement,” Mayor Dan Clodfelter said in a statement. “We thank Chiquita for contributions to the community during their time in Charlotte.”

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