“The money is good for keeping score”: Behold the financial carnage a packaged out tampon salesman can cause

I imagine the good folks over in New Orleans at the port are still cuttin’ backflips over nabbing Chiquita’s port operations from the Port of Gulfport. Not that I’d want to wet blanket things but since I am a made banaman from way far back it only took me a few seconds with Google to nab the salient links:

Chiquita to buy Fresh Express for $855M ~ Cincinnati Business Courier 2-23-2005

The day before the deal was announced, February 22, 2005, Chiquita common closed at $22.00 and had a market capitalization of $1.035 billion dollars. The following is from the Chiquita press release on the Fresh Express acquisition:

“I believe this is the most important strategic and transformational move the company has made in decades,” said Fernando Aguirre, chairman and chief executive officer of Chiquita Brands International. “Fresh Express fits seamlessly into our sustainable growth strategy to become a world-class, consumer-driven leader of branded produce by building a high-performance organization, strengthening our core business and, most importantly, pursuing profitable growth.

Aguirre continued, “In addition to diversifying earnings, this transaction should accelerate our path to profitable growth, creating a unique opportunity to cross-sell our existing products, leveraging the excellent retail customer relationships of both companies and the foodservice expertise of Fresh Express. By acquiring an established national infrastructure and state-of- the-art technology, we gain immediate scale and an effective platform to launch new products throughout North America, including the ability to accelerate national distribution of fresh-cut fruit.” The company expects to promptly convert all fruit-based products to the Chiquita brand and retain the Fresh Express brand for value-added salads.

“Importantly, this acquisition meets our financial criteria, including average EBITDA margins that exceed 10 percent and a solid record of revenue growth, profitability and strong cash flows. There’s also a great opportunity to realize cost synergies of at least $20 million annually,” said Jay Braukman, Chiquita’s senior vice president and chief financial officer.

But time and money have a way of talking: Continue reading ““The money is good for keeping score”: Behold the financial carnage a packaged out tampon salesman can cause”

How I became a made bananaman and discovered that Miss Chiquita was a government subsidy whore

As seemingly everyone in the two state area now knows, Chiquita is vacating the Port of Gulfport in favor of the Port of New Orleans and the Slabbed Nation is clamoring for some sage analysis.  As luck would have it, my becoming a bananaman derives from the same event from which the name of this website derives, Hurricane Katrina.  Everyone knows that Chiquita imports bananas into the US via Gulfport’s (soon to be New Orleans) Break Bulk cargo facility from Central America.  The company backhauls huge paper rolls to Central America that are used to make the banana boxes used for shipping.  Here is what my neighborhood looked like after the storm when the rocket scientists at the Port made the call to leave everything in place before the storm:

Intersection of US 90 and Broad Avenue after Hurricane Katrina / Slabbed New Media File Photo
Intersection of US 90 and Broad Avenue after Hurricane Katrina destroyed by Chiquita Paper Rolls stored at the Port  of Gulfport / Slabbed New Media File Photo

Most of the rolls clustered at Broad Street and Highway 90 but a few even made it to my neighborhood proper:

West Gulfport flattened by Port Debris and Hurricane Katrina / Slabbed New Media File Photo
West Gulfport flattened by Port Debris and Hurricane Katrina / Slabbed New Media File Photo

Naturally, having witnessed the destruction first hand coupled with nothing happening in the cleanup front I felt the need to agitate and since Chiquita was the only public company among the port tenants it was the CQB message board on Yahoo that I brought the full measure of five weeks of frustration.  Within a week or so of my arrival on the CQB cyber scene, I was met at my slab by a contractor on October 2, 2005 who was armed with an ROE and heavy equipment. Word got out among my old neighbors, additional ROEs were executed on the spot and we were fast tracked for cleanup.  This internet thing is like magic in skilled hands as the following video illustrates: Continue reading “How I became a made bananaman and discovered that Miss Chiquita was a government subsidy whore”