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Pay for Charlotte-based Chiquita’s CEO slips in second year

Ed Lonergan mug
- handout photo
Ed Lonergan, Chiquita CEO

Chiquita CEO Ed Lonergan saw his pay fall sharply in his second year on the job, as the lack of one-time stock and option payments he received in his first year caused his compensation to tumble 75 percent.

Securities documents filed Tuesday show Lonergan received $1.6 million worth of compensation in 2013, made up of a $900,000 salary and almost $700,000 bonus. His pay was lower than the $6.2 million he received in 2012 because he didn’t receive a repeat of the $3.9 million worth of stock options and $1.8 million worth of stock he received in his first year.

Lonergan also received $8,486 to help him with his move to Charlotte.

Chiquita, headquartered in uptown’s NASCAR Plaza office tower, announced March 10 that it plans to merge with Irish fruit company Fyffes in an all-stock deal that would create the world’s largest banana company. The deal has faced scrutiny in Charlotte because Chiquita received $22 million worth of state and local incentives.

The incentives, to be paid out over the next decade, were tied to Chiquita keeping its more than 400 jobs in uptown, as well as its global headquarters. Chiquita has said the CEO of ChiquitaFyffes will be Dublin-based David McCann, currently Fyffes CEO. Two other key corporate posts, CFO and chief operating officer-fresh fruit, will also be Fyffes employees based across the Atlantic. Lonergan will be non-executive chairman.

Chiquita has said it believes it still meets the deal criteria because it plans to keep the vast majority of its jobs in Charlotte. The merger requires regulatory approval.

Portillo: 704-358-5041; Twitter: @ESPortillo
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