This is the full text of the email Chiquita sent to about 320 employees in Charlotte on Wednesday morning:
We now embark on Chiquita’s next chapter. We wish to inform you of changes at the Company that will result from our transition towards a more simplified and streamlined business model appropriate for the competitive markets we serve, and from a publicly listed company to a private enterprise.
As communicated last week, we plan to organize the core businesses around three separate and distinct business units: Chiquita bananas and pineapples, Fresh Express salads and snacks, and Chiquita Fruit Solutions (our banana puree and pineapple juice business). Additionally, as a private company there will be certain corporate services that are no longer necessary to support a publicly listed company.
As a consequence we have made the decision to transition over the next twelve to eighteen months all operational departments and remaining corporate services to be closer to our customers and operations, and out of Charlotte. This will improve business efficiency and decision making to prepare the springboard for our growth as three focussed business units.
Over the next 90 days, your managers will share with you more information about the implications of this transition. We admire and appreciate all that you have contributed to Chiquita and thank you for your support as we shape a bright future for this great company.
Brian Kocher, Interim Chief Executive Officer