NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Fruit distributor Chiquita  (CQB) is merging with Irish rival Fyffes in a deal that will create the world's largest banana company.

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

Fruit distributor Chiquita is merging with Irish rival Fyffes in a deal that will create the world's biggest banana company worth about $1 billion.

The all-stock deal will result in a company called ChiquitaFyffes with $4.6 billion in annual revenue that employs about 32,000 people.  Chiquita shareholders will own about 50.7% of the combined company, with Fyffes shareholders owning the remaining 49.3%.

The companies said the merger would generate annual cost savings of at least $40 million by 2016.  They added that existing brands will be retained but customers will also have access to a wider selection of products.

Upon news of the deal, Chiquita Brands was climbing almost 12% to $12.13 at last check.

In New York, I'm Brittany Umar for TheStreet.

-- Written by Brittany Umar in New York.

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