Chiquita to Consolidate Corporate Headquarters in Charlotte

Chiquita Brands International, Inc. today announced plans to relocate its corporate headquarters to Charlotte, North Carolina, from the company’s current location in Cincinnati, Ohio. The relocation will include more than 300 positions currently based in Cincinnati.  Chiquita will also consolidate other corporate functions in Charlotte by bringing more than 100 additional positions currently spread across the U.S. to improve execution and accelerate decision-making. The move is expected to be complete by the end of 2012.

“After an extensive review of our capabilities and needs, we are confident that Charlotte is the optimal location for our business and that our decision to relocate is in the long-term best interest of our company, customers, employees and shareholders,” said Fernando Aguirre, chairman and chief executive officer. “Charlotte provided the most compelling economic opportunity to lower our long-term operating costs and the region is an attractive community for our employees. Importantly, the Charlotte airport provides improved access to international markets, customers and Chiquita operations around the world.”

Chiquita will offer the great majority of its Cincinnati employees the opportunity to relocate to the North Carolina headquarters. The decision to relocate Chiquita’s headquarters is part of the company’s ongoing efforts to make its operations more efficient, and follows a thoughtful and rigorous review of Chiquita’s corporate operations. Potential locations were evaluated against multiple criteria, including costs and ease of access to Chiquita’s operations.

“We welcome Chiquita and its global headquarters to Charlotte,” said Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx.  “Their move, which follows an all-hands-on-deck recruiting effort, serves to further diversify Charlotte’s economy and bring a significant number of high quality jobs.  Chiquita has a legendary track record of corporate citizenship, and, in addition to its economic impact, we can also look forward to the many ways in which its presence will enhance our quality of life.”

The company expects that total project related costs will total $30 to $35 million during the next two years, of which $24 million will be recaptured through state, local and other incentives during the next decade. In addition, the company expects to generate ongoing operating cost savings of more than $4 million annually during the next decade from the benefits of domestic consolidation of locations, lower rental rates and travel costs.

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