Chiquita Comments on U.S.-EU Banana Trade Agreement

Apr 11, 2001, 01:00 ET from Chiquita Brands International, Inc.

    CINCINNATI, April 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Chiquita Brands International, Inc.
 (NYSE:   CQB) commented on the agreement announced today between the U.S.
 Government and the European Commission regarding their long-standing dispute
 over the European Union's banana import regime.  Chiquita stated that this
 agreement is expected to result in a partial recovery in future periods of the
 EU market opportunities previously available to Chiquita and Latin American
 producing nations.  However, the Company still intends to proceed with the
 proposed restructuring of its parent company debt announced earlier this year.
 This restructuring initiative is necessitated by the cumulative effect on
 Chiquita of the EU's discriminatory banana import regimes over the past eight
 years, as well as the accelerated weakening of European currencies in recent
 years.  The agreement announced today will provide no compensation to Chiquita
 for past damages attributable to previous EU regimes.
     The U.S.-EU agreement contemplates a partial redistribution of licenses
 for the import of Latin American bananas under a tariff rate quota system for
 historical operators that would take effect on July 1, 2001 and continue
 through the end of 2005.  It also contemplates movement to a tariff-only
 system starting in 2006, which will require future consultations between the
 EU and banana supplying interests.
     Steven G. Warshaw, President and Chief Operating Officer of Chiquita,
 said:  "Subject to establishment of definitive regulations for the new regime,
 we are pleased with this positive development for Chiquita and Latin American
 banana interests.  We are grateful to those within the Office of the U.S.
 Trade Representative and the affected Latin American governments who have
 worked tirelessly to bring about a banana import regime that is compatible
 with the EU's international trade obligations."
     Chiquita is a leading international marketer, producer and distributor of
 quality fresh fruits and vegetables and processed foods.
     This press release contains certain statements that are "forward-looking
 statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Act of
 1995.  These statements are subject to a number of assumptions, risks and
 uncertainties, including the implementation of the U.S.-EU agreement announced
 today regarding the EU's banana import regime, the Company's ability to reach
 agreement with holders of its parent company debt regarding a restructuring of
 such debt, the terms of any such restructuring, prices at which Chiquita can
 sell its products, the costs at which it can purchase or grow (and
 availability of) fresh produce and other raw materials, currency exchange rate
 fluctuations, natural disasters and unusual weather conditions, operating
 efficiencies, labor relations, actions of governmental bodies and other market
 and competitive conditions, many of which are beyond the control of Chiquita.
 Actual results or developments may differ materially from the expectations
 expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements, and the Company
 undertakes no obligation to update any such statements.
 
 

SOURCE Chiquita Brands International, Inc.
    CINCINNATI, April 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Chiquita Brands International, Inc.
 (NYSE:   CQB) commented on the agreement announced today between the U.S.
 Government and the European Commission regarding their long-standing dispute
 over the European Union's banana import regime.  Chiquita stated that this
 agreement is expected to result in a partial recovery in future periods of the
 EU market opportunities previously available to Chiquita and Latin American
 producing nations.  However, the Company still intends to proceed with the
 proposed restructuring of its parent company debt announced earlier this year.
 This restructuring initiative is necessitated by the cumulative effect on
 Chiquita of the EU's discriminatory banana import regimes over the past eight
 years, as well as the accelerated weakening of European currencies in recent
 years.  The agreement announced today will provide no compensation to Chiquita
 for past damages attributable to previous EU regimes.
     The U.S.-EU agreement contemplates a partial redistribution of licenses
 for the import of Latin American bananas under a tariff rate quota system for
 historical operators that would take effect on July 1, 2001 and continue
 through the end of 2005.  It also contemplates movement to a tariff-only
 system starting in 2006, which will require future consultations between the
 EU and banana supplying interests.
     Steven G. Warshaw, President and Chief Operating Officer of Chiquita,
 said:  "Subject to establishment of definitive regulations for the new regime,
 we are pleased with this positive development for Chiquita and Latin American
 banana interests.  We are grateful to those within the Office of the U.S.
 Trade Representative and the affected Latin American governments who have
 worked tirelessly to bring about a banana import regime that is compatible
 with the EU's international trade obligations."
     Chiquita is a leading international marketer, producer and distributor of
 quality fresh fruits and vegetables and processed foods.
     This press release contains certain statements that are "forward-looking
 statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Act of
 1995.  These statements are subject to a number of assumptions, risks and
 uncertainties, including the implementation of the U.S.-EU agreement announced
 today regarding the EU's banana import regime, the Company's ability to reach
 agreement with holders of its parent company debt regarding a restructuring of
 such debt, the terms of any such restructuring, prices at which Chiquita can
 sell its products, the costs at which it can purchase or grow (and
 availability of) fresh produce and other raw materials, currency exchange rate
 fluctuations, natural disasters and unusual weather conditions, operating
 efficiencies, labor relations, actions of governmental bodies and other market
 and competitive conditions, many of which are beyond the control of Chiquita.
 Actual results or developments may differ materially from the expectations
 expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements, and the Company
 undertakes no obligation to update any such statements.
 
 SOURCE  Chiquita Brands International, Inc.