Fruit Giant To Buy Salad-In-A- Bag Company

Cincinnati fruit giant to buy salad-in-a-bag company

Chiquita Brands International Incorporated says today it will pay $855 million to buy the Fresh Express bagged salad line from Performance Group Company.

The cash deal gives Chiquita the top-selling brand of packaged salads in the country, with a 40 percent share of the market and a  billion dollars in annual revenue. Chiquita's announcement comes a day after the Cincinnati fruit giant announced it had tripled its profits in the fourth quarter. Chiquita already was the world's largest producer of bananas and other produce.

Fresh Express will keep its headquarters in Salinas, California. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter.