A public company, publicly traded company, publicly held company, publicly listed company, or public limited company is a corporation whose ownership is dispersed among the general public in many shares of stock which are traded on a stock exchange or in over the counter markets. In some jurisdictions, public companies over a certain size must be listed on an exchange. A public company can be unlisted. Public companies are formed within the legal systems of particular nations, therefore have national associations and formal designations which are distinct and separate. For example one of the main public company forms in the United States is called a limited liability company, in France is called a "society of limited responsibility", in Britain a public limited company, in Germany a company with limited liability. While the general idea of a public company may be similar, differences are meaningful, are at the core of international law disputes with regard to industry and trade. In the early modern period, the Dutch developed several financial instruments and helped lay the foundations of modern financial system.
The Dutch East India Company became the first company in history to issue bonds and shares of stock to the general public. In other words, the VOC was the first publicly traded company, because it was the first company to be actually listed on an official stock exchange. While the Italian city-states produced the first transferable government bonds, they did not develop the other ingredient necessary to produce a fledged capital market: corporate shareholders; as Edward Stringham notes, "companies with transferable shares date back to classical Rome, but these were not enduring endeavors and no considerable secondary market existed." The securities of a publicly traded company are owned by many investors while the shares of a held company are owned by few shareholders. A company with many shareholders is not a publicly traded company. In the United States, in some instances, companies with over 500 shareholders may be required to report under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Public companies possess some advantages over held businesses.
Publicly traded companies are able to raise funds and capital through the sale of shares of stock. This is the reason publicly traded corporations are important; the profit on stock is gained in form of capital gain to the holders. The financial media and the public are able to access additional information about the business, since the business is legally bound, motivated, to publicly disseminate information regarding the financial status and future of the company to its many shareholders and the government; because many people have a vested interest in the company's success, the company may be more popular or recognizable than a private company. The initial shareholders of the company are able to share risk by selling shares to the public. If one were to hold a 100% share of the company, he or she would have to pay all of the business's debt; this increases asset liquidity and the company does not need to depend on funding from a bank. For example, in 2013 Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg owned 29.3% of the company's class A shares, which gave him enough voting power to control the business, while allowing Facebook to raise capital from, distribute risk to, the remaining shareholders.
Facebook was a held company prior to its initial public offering in 2012. If some shares are given to managers or other employees, potential conflicts of interest between employees and shareholders will be remitted; as an example, in many tech companies, entry-level software engineers are given stock in the company upon being hired. Therefore, the engineers have a vested interest in the company succeeding financially, are incentivized to work harder and more diligently to ensure that success. Many stock exchanges require that publicly traded companies have their accounts audited by outside auditors, publish the accounts to their shareholders. Besides the cost, this may make useful information available to competitors. Various other annual and quarterly reports are required by law. In the United States, the Sarbanes–Oxley Act imposes additional requirements; the requirement for audited books is not imposed by the exchange known as OTC Pink. The shares may be maliciously held by outside shareholders and the original founders or owners may lose benefits and control.
The principal-agent problem, or the agency problem is a key weakness of public companies. The separation of a company's ownership and control is prevalent in such countries as U. K and U. S. In the United States, the Securities and Exchange Commission requires that firms whose stock is traded publicly report their major shareholders each year; the reports identify all institutional shareholders, all company officials who own shares in their firm, any individual or institution owning more than 5% of the firm's stock. For many years, newly created companies were held but held initial
Steel and tin cans
A tin can, steel can, steel packaging or a can, is a container for the distribution or storage of goods, composed of thin metal. Many cans require opening by cutting the "end" open. Cans hold diverse contents: foods, oil, etc. Steel cans are made of tin-free steel. In some dialects aluminium cans are called "tin cans"; the tin canning process was created by Frenchman Philippe de Girard and the idea passed to British merchant Peter Durand, used as an agent to patent Girard's idea in 1810. The canning concept was based on experimental food preservation work in glass containers the year before by the French inventor Nicholas Appert. Durand did not pursue food canning, but, in 1812, sold his patent to two Englishmen, Bryan Donkin and John Hall, who refined the process and product, set up the world's first commercial canning factory on Southwark Park Road, London. By 1813 they were producing their first tin canned goods for the Royal Navy. By 1820, tin canisters or cans were being used for gunpowder and turpentine.
Early tin cans were sealed by soldering with a tin-lead alloy. Infamously, in the 1845 Arctic expedition of Sir John Franklin, crew members suffered from severe lead poisoning, first thought to be caused by eating tin canned food. More recent research however suggests the lead poisoning was more to have been caused by the water pipe system on the two ships. In 1901 in the United States, the American Can Company was founded, at the time producing 90% of United States tin cans. Most cans are right circular cylinders with identical and parallel round tops and bottoms with vertical sides. However, cans for small volumes or particularly-shaped contents, the top and bottom may be rounded-corner rectangles or ovals. Other contents may suit a can, somewhat conical in shape. Fabrication of most cans results in at least one rim—a narrow ring larger than the outside diameter of the rest of the can; the flat surfaces of rimmed cans are recessed from the edge of any rim by about the width of the rim. Three-piece can construction results in bottom rims.
In two-piece construction, one piece is a flat top and the other a deep-drawn cup-shaped piece that combines the cylindrical wall and the round base. Transition between wall and base is gradual; such cans have a single rim at the top. Some cans have a separate cover, hinged. Two piece steel cans can be made by "drawing" to form the bottom and sides and adding an "end" at the top: these do not have side seams. Cans can be fabricated with separate slip-on, or friction fit covers and with covers attached by hinges. Various easy opening methods are available. In the mid-20th century, a few milk products were packaged in nearly rimless cans, reflecting different construction. Concern arose. A number of factors make steel cans ideal containers for beverages. Steel cans are stronger than cartons or plastic, less fragile than glass, protecting the product in transit and preventing leakage or spillage, while reducing the need for secondary packaging. Steel packaging offers 100% barrier protection against light and air, is the most tamper-evident of all packaging materials.
Steel cans preserve and protect the product from damage by light, extremes of temperature and contamination, safeguarding flavour and quality from factory to final consumer. Food and drink packed in steel cans has equivalent vitamin content to freshly prepared, without needing preserving agents. Steel cans extend the product’s shelf-life, allowing longer sell-by and use-by dates and reducing waste; as an ambient packaging medium, steel cans do not require cooling in the supply chain, simplifying logistics and storage, saving energy and cost. At the same time, steel’s high thermal conductivity means canned drinks chill much more and than those in glass or plastic bottles. A World Steel Association initiative, Choose Steel, is encouraging the use of steel for beverage cans. No cans in wide use are composed or wholly of tin. Depending on contents and available coatings, some canneries still use tin-free steel. In some local dialects, any metal can aluminium, might be called a "tin can". Use of aluminium in cans began in 1957.
Aluminium is less costly than tin-plated steel but offers the same resistance to corrosion in addition to greater malleability, resulting in ease of manufacture. A can traditionally has a printed paper or plastic label glued to the outside of the curved surface, indicating its contents; some labels contain additional information, such as recipes, on the reverse side. Labels are more printed directly onto the metal before or after the metal sheet is formed into the individual cans. In November 1991 US can ma
Juice is a drink made from the extraction or pressing of the natural liquid contained in fruit and vegetables. It can refer to liquids that are flavored with concentrate or other biological food sources, such as meat or seafood, such as clam juice. Juice is consumed as a beverage or used as an ingredient or flavoring in foods or other beverages, as for smoothies. Juice emerged as a popular beverage choice after the development of pasteurization methods enabled its preservation without using fermentation; the largest fruit juice consumers are New Colombia. Fruit juice consumption on average increases with country income level; the word "juice" comes from Old French in about 1300. The "Old French jus "juice, liquid"... from Latin ius "broth, juice, soup," from PIE root *yeue- "to blend, mix food"." The use of the word "juice" to mean "the watery part of fruits or vegetables" was first recorded in the early 14th century. Since the 19th century, the term "juice" has been used in a figurative sense.
Today, "au jus" refers to meat served along with its own juice as a gravy. Juice is prepared by mechanically squeezing or macerating fruit or vegetable flesh without the application of heat or solvents. For example, orange juice is the liquid extract of the fruit of the orange tree, tomato juice is the liquid that results from pressing the fruit of the tomato plant. Juice may be prepared in the home from fresh fruit and vegetables using a variety of hand or electric juicers. Many commercial juices are filtered to remove fiber or pulp, but high-pulp fresh orange juice is a popular beverage. Additives are put in some juices, such as artificial flavours. Common methods for preservation and processing of fruit juices include canning, concentrating, freezing and spray drying. Although processing methods vary between juices, the general processing method of juices includes: Washing and sorting food source Juice extraction Straining and clarification Blending pasteurization Filling and sterilization Cooling and packingAfter the fruits are picked and washed, the juice is extracted by one of two automated methods.
In the first method, two metal cups with sharp metal tubes on the bottom cup come together, removing the peel and forcing the flesh of the fruit through the metal tube. The juice of the fruit escapes through small holes in the tube; the peels can be used further, are washed to remove oils, which are reclaimed for usage. The second method requires the fruits to be cut in half before being subjected to reamers, which extract the juice. After the juice is filtered, it may be concentrated in evaporators, which reduce the size of juice by a factor of 5, making it easier to transport and increasing its expiration date. Juices are concentrated by heating under a vacuum to remove water, cooling to around 13 degrees Celsius. About two thirds of the water in a juice is removed; the juice is later reconstituted, in which the concentrate is mixed with water and other factors to return any lost flavor from the concentrating process. Juices can be sold in a concentrated state, in which the consumer adds water to the concentrated juice as preparation.
Juices are pasteurized and filled into containers while still hot. If the juice is poured into a container while hot, it is cooled as as possible. Packages that cannot stand heat require sterile conditions for filling. Chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide can be used to sterilize containers. Plants can make anywhere from 1 to 20 tonnes a day. High intensity pulsed electric fields are being used as an alternative to heat pasteurization in fruit juices. Heat treatments sometimes fail to make microbiological stable products. However, it was found that processing with high intensity pulsed electric fields can be applied to fruit juices to provide a shelf stable and safe product. In addition, it was found that pulsed electric fields provide a fresh-like and high nutrition value product. Pulsed electric field processing is a type of nonthermal method for food preservation. Pulsed electric fields use short pulses of electricity to inactivate microbes. In addition, the use of PEF results in minimal detrimental effects on the quality of the food.
Pulse electric fields kill microorganisms and provide better maintenance of the original colour and nutritional value of the food as compared to heat treatments. This method of preservation works by placing two electrodes between liquid juices applying high voltage pulses for microseconds to milliseconds; the high voltage pulses are of intensity in the range of 10 to 80 kV/cm. Processing time of the juice is calculated by multiplying the number of pulses with the effective pulse duration; the high voltage of the pulses produce an electric field that results in microbial inactivation that may be present in the juice. The PEF temperatures are below that of the temperatures used in thermal processing. After the high voltage treatment, the juice is refrigerated. Juice is able to transfer electricity due to the presence of several ions from the processing; when the electric field is applied to the juice, electric current
RJR Nabisco, Inc. was an American conglomerate, selling tobacco and food products, headquartered in the Calyon Building in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. RJR Nabisco stopped operating as a single entity in 1999. RJR Nabisco was formed in 1985 by the merger of Nabisco Brands and R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. In 1988 RJR Nabisco was purchased by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. in what was at the time the largest leveraged buyout in history. In 1999, due to concerns about tobacco lawsuit liabilities, the tobacco business was spun off into a separate company, RJR Nabisco was renamed Nabisco Holdings Corporation. Nabisco is owned by Mondelēz International Inc. RJR Nabisco Holdings Corp. was the parent company of Inc.. After the food and tobacco businesses separated in June 1999, Nabisco Group Holdings Corp. owned 80% of RJR Nabisco Holdings Corp., the parent company of Nabisco, Inc. R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company was founded in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in 1875 and changed its name to R. J. Reynolds Industries, Inc. in 1970.
It became RJR Nabisco on April 25, 1986 after the company's $4.9 billion purchase, earlier 1.9 billion stock swap, of Nabisco Brands Inc. in 1985. In August 1986, the RJR Nabisco board announced that F. Ross Johnson would replace J. Tylee Wilson as head of the company effective January 1, 1987. Soon after that, believing "bucolic" Winston-Salem did not have the right image for a "world-class company", began looking at other possible headquarters cities. After ruling out New York City and Dallas, the company decided on Atlanta because it was "nouveau riche and overbuilt". On January 15, 1987, the RJR Nabisco board approved a headquarters move from Winston-Salem to Cobb County, north of Atlanta, where the company had rented space; the move would affect 250 to 300 employees, while Winston-Salem would still have 14,000 people working for the company. RJR Nabisco donated the 519,000-square-foot World Headquarters Building to Wake Forest University but continued to use it until the September 1987 move.
RJR Nabisco's Planters-Life Savers Division moved to the former headquarters building. The RJR Nabisco leveraged buyout was, at the time considered to be the preeminent example of corporate and executive greed. Bryan Burrough and John Helyar published Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco, a successful book about the events, turned into a television movie for HBO. Ross Johnson was the President and CEO of RJR Nabisco at the time of the leveraged buyout and Henry Kravis was the managing partner at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co; the leveraged buyout was in the amount of $25 billion, the battle for control took place between October and November 1988. Although KKR took control of RJR Nabisco, RJR management and Shearson Lehman Hutton had announced that they would take RJR Nabisco private at $75 per share. A fierce series of negotiations and proposals ensued which involved nearly all of the major private equity players of the day, including Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Salomon Brothers, First Boston, Wasserstein Perella & Co.
Forstmann Little, Shearson Lehman Hutton, Merrill Lynch. Once put in play by Shearson Lehman Hutton and RJR management every major Wall Street firm involved in M&A launched frenzied, literal last-minute bids in a fog of incomplete or misleading information. KKR introduced a tender offer to obtain RJR Nabisco for $90 per share—a price that enabled it to proceed without the approval of RJR Nabisco's management. RJR's management team, working with Shearson Lehman Hutton and Salomon Brothers, submitted a bid of $112, a figure they felt certain would enable it to outflank any response by Kravis. KKR's final bid of $109, while a lower dollar figure, was accepted by the board of directors, it was accepted because KKR's offer was guaranteed whereas management's lacked a "reset", meaning that the final share price might have been lower than their professed $112 per share. Additionally, many in RJR's board of directors had grown concerned at recent disclosures of Johnson's unprecedented golden parachute deal.
Time Magazine featured Johnson on the cover of its December 1988 issue along with the headline "A Game of Greed: This man could pocket $100 million from the largest corporate takeover in history. Has the buyout craze gone too far?". KKR's offer was welcomed by the board, and, to some observers, it appeared that their elevation of the reset issue as a deal-breaker in KKR's favor was little more than an excuse to reject Johnson's higher payout of $112 per share. Johnson received compensation worth more than $60 million from the buyout left in February 1989. In March 1989, Louis V. Gerstner of American Express became the new head of RJR Nabisco. On April 27, 1989, RJR Nabisco announced; as a result of the acquisition, RJR Nabisco divested the following divisions: Nabisco's UK operations, Belin of France, Saiwa of Italy were sold to BSN. Smith's and Walkers were swiftly resold to PepsiCo. Chun King was sold to Yeo Hiap Seng. Associated Biscuits International to Britannia Industries. Fresh Del Monte Produce was sold to Polly Peck.
Del Monte Foods was sold to Merrill Lynch, Citicorp Venture Capitol, Kikkoman. Del Monte's Asia operations were separately sold to Kikkoman; the company's 20% stake in ESPN Inc. was sold to Hearst Communications. On March 21, 1991, RJR Nabisco Holdings Corp. became a publicly traded stock. In March 1999, RJR Nabisco announced the sale of the
New York Stock Exchange
The New York Stock Exchange is an American stock exchange located at 11 Wall Street, Lower Manhattan, New York City, New York. It is by far the world's largest stock exchange by market capitalization of its listed companies at US$30.1 trillion as of February 2018. The average daily trading value was US$169 billion in 2013; the NYSE trading floor is located at 11 Wall Street and is composed of 21 rooms used for the facilitation of trading. A fifth trading room, located at 30 Broad Street, was closed in February 2007; the main building and the 11 Wall Street building were designated National Historic Landmarks in 1978. The NYSE is owned by Intercontinental Exchange, an American holding company that it lists, it was part of NYSE Euronext, formed by the NYSE's 2007 merger with Euronext. The NYSE has been the subject of several lawsuits regarding fraud or breach of duty and in 2004 was sued by its former CEO for breach of contract and defamation; the earliest recorded organization of securities trading in New York among brokers directly dealing with each other can be traced to the Buttonwood Agreement.
Securities exchange had been intermediated by the auctioneers who conducted more mundane auctions of commodities such as wheat and tobacco. On May 17, 1792 twenty four brokers signed the Buttonwood Agreement which set a floor commission rate charged to clients and bound the signers to give preference to the other signers in securities sales; the earliest securities traded were governmental securities such as War Bonds from the Revolutionary War and First Bank of the United States stock, although Bank of New York stock was a non-governmental security traded in the early days. The Bank of North America along with the First Bank of the United States and the Bank of New York were the first shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange. In 1817 the stockbrokers of New York operating under the Buttonwood Agreement instituted new reforms and reorganized. After sending a delegation to Philadelphia to observe the organization of their board of brokers, restrictions on manipulative trading were adopted as well as formal organs of governance.
After re-forming as the New York Stock and Exchange Board the broker organization began renting out space for securities trading, taking place at the Tontine Coffee House. Several locations were used between 1865, when the present location was adopted; the invention of the electrical telegraph consolidated markets, New York's market rose to dominance over Philadelphia after weathering some market panics better than other alternatives. The Open Board of Stock Brokers was established in 1864 as a competitor to the NYSE. With 354 members, the Open Board of Stock Brokers rivaled the NYSE in membership "because it used a more modern, continuous trading system superior to the NYSE’s twice-daily call sessions." The Open Board of Stock Brokers merged with the NYSE in 1869. Robert Wright of Bloomberg writes that the merger increased the NYSE's members as well as trading volume, as "several dozen regional exchanges were competing with the NYSE for customers. Buyers and dealers all wanted to complete transactions as and cheaply as technologically possible and that meant finding the markets with the most trading, or the greatest liquidity in today’s parlance.
Minimizing competition was essential to keep a large number of orders flowing, the merger helped the NYSE to maintain its reputation for providing superior liquidity." The Civil War stimulated speculative securities trading in New York. By 1869 membership had to be capped, has been sporadically increased since; the latter half of the nineteenth century saw rapid growth in securities trading. Securities trade in the latter nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was prone to panics and crashes. Government regulation of securities trading was seen as necessary, with arguably the most dramatic changes occurring in the 1930s after a major stock market crash precipitated the Great Depression; the Stock Exchange Luncheon Club was situated on the seventh floor from 1898 until its closure in 2006. The main building, located at 18 Broad Street, between the corners of Wall Street and Exchange Place, was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1978, as was the 11 Wall Street building; the NYSE announced its plans to merge with Archipelago on April 21, 2005, in a deal intended to reorganize the NYSE as a publicly traded company.
NYSE's governing board voted to merge with rival Archipelago on December 6, 2005, became a for-profit, public company. It began trading under the name NYSE Group on March 8, 2006. A little over one year on April 4, 2007, the NYSE Group completed its merger with Euronext, the European combined stock market, thus forming NYSE Euronext, the first transatlantic stock exchange. Wall Street is the leading US money center for international financial activities and the foremost US location for the conduct of wholesale financial services. "It comprises a matrix of wholesale financial sectors, financial markets, financial institutions, financial industry firms". The principal sectors are securities industry, commercial banking, asset management, insurance. Prior to the acquisition of NYSE Euronext by the ICE in 2013, Marsh Carter was the Chairman of the NYSE and the CEO was Duncan Niederauer. Presently, the chairman is Jeffrey Sprecher. In 2016, NYSE owner Intercontinental Exchange Inc. earned $419 million in listings-related revenues.
The exchange was closed shortly after the beginning of World War I, but it re-opened on November 28 of that year in order to help the war effort by trading bonds, reopened for stock tradin
Agriculture is the science and art of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that enabled people to live in cities; the history of agriculture began thousands of years ago. After gathering wild grains beginning at least 105,000 years ago, nascent farmers began to plant them around 11,500 years ago. Pigs and cattle were domesticated over 10,000 years ago. Plants were independently cultivated in at least 11 regions of the world. Industrial agriculture based on large-scale monoculture in the twentieth century came to dominate agricultural output, though about 2 billion people still depended on subsistence agriculture into the twenty-first. Modern agronomy, plant breeding, agrochemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers, technological developments have increased yields, while causing widespread ecological and environmental damage. Selective breeding and modern practices in animal husbandry have increased the output of meat, but have raised concerns about animal welfare and environmental damage.
Environmental issues include contributions to global warming, depletion of aquifers, antibiotic resistance, growth hormones in industrial meat production. Genetically modified organisms are used, although some are banned in certain countries; the major agricultural products can be broadly grouped into foods, fibers and raw materials. Food classes include cereals, fruits, meat, milk and eggs. Over one-third of the world's workers are employed in agriculture, second only to the service sector, although the number of agricultural workers in developed countries has decreased over the centuries; the word agriculture is a late Middle English adaptation of Latin agricultūra, from ager, "field", which in its turn came from Greek αγρός, cultūra, "cultivation" or "growing". While agriculture refers to human activities, certain species of ant and ambrosia beetle cultivate crops. Agriculture is defined with varying scopes, in its broadest sense using natural resources to "produce commodities which maintain life, including food, forest products, horticultural crops, their related services".
Thus defined, it includes arable farming, animal husbandry and forestry, but horticulture and forestry are in practice excluded. The development of agriculture enabled the human population to grow many times larger than could be sustained by hunting and gathering. Agriculture began independently in different parts of the globe, included a diverse range of taxa, in at least 11 separate centres of origin. Wild grains were eaten from at least 105,000 years ago. From around 11,500 years ago, the eight Neolithic founder crops and einkorn wheat, hulled barley, lentils, bitter vetch, chick peas and flax were cultivated in the Levant. Rice was domesticated in China between 11,500 and 6,200 BC with the earliest known cultivation from 5,700 BC, followed by mung and azuki beans. Sheep were domesticated in Mesopotamia between 11,000 years ago. Cattle were domesticated from the wild aurochs in the areas of modern Turkey and Pakistan some 10,500 years ago. Pig production emerged in Eurasia, including Europe, East Asia and Southwest Asia, where wild boar were first domesticated about 10,500 years ago.
In the Andes of South America, the potato was domesticated between 10,000 and 7,000 years ago, along with beans, llamas and guinea pigs. Sugarcane and some root vegetables were domesticated in New Guinea around 9,000 years ago. Sorghum was domesticated in the Sahel region of Africa by 7,000 years ago. Cotton was domesticated in Peru by 5,600 years ago, was independently domesticated in Eurasia. In Mesoamerica, wild teosinte was bred into maize by 6,000 years ago. Scholars have offered multiple hypotheses to explain the historical origins of agriculture. Studies of the transition from hunter-gatherer to agricultural societies indicate an initial period of intensification and increasing sedentism. Wild stands, harvested started to be planted, came to be domesticated. In Eurasia, the Sumerians started to live in villages from about 8,000 BC, relying on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and a canal system for irrigation. Ploughs appear in pictographs around 3,000 BC. Farmers grew wheat, vegetables such as lentils and onions, fruits including dates and figs.
Ancient Egyptian agriculture relied on its seasonal flooding. Farming started in the predynastic period at the end of the Paleolithic, after 10,000 BC. Staple food crops were grains such as wheat and barley, alongside industrial crops such as flax and papyrus. In India, wheat and jujube were domesticated by 9,000 BC, soon followed by sheep and goats. Cattle and goats were domesticated in Mehrgarh culture by 8,000–6,000 BC. Cotton was cultivated by the 5th-4th millennium BC. Archeological evidence indicates an animal-drawn plough from 2,500 BC in the Indus Valley Civilisation. In China, from the 5th century BC there was a nationwide granary system and widespread silk farming. Water-powered grain mills were in use followed by irrigation. By the late 2nd century, heavy ploughs had been developed with iron mouldboards; these spread westwards across Eurasia. Asian rice was domesticated 8,200–13,500 years ago – depending on the molecular clock estimate, used – on the Pearl River in southern China with a single genetic origin from the wild rice Oryza rufipogon
Chiquita Brands International
Chiquita Brands International Sàrl known as Chiquita Brands International Inc. is a Swiss producer and distributor of bananas and other produce. The company operates under a number of subsidiary brand names, including the flagship Chiquita brand and Fresh Express salads. Chiquita is the leading distributor of bananas in the United States. Chiquita is the successor to the infamous United Fruit Company, it was controlled by American businessman Carl H. Lindner, Jr. whose majority ownership of the company ended when Chiquita Brands International exited a prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 19, 2002. In 2003, the company acquired the German produce distribution company, Atlanta AG. Fresh Express salads was purchased from Performance Food Group in 2005. Chiquita's former headquarters were located in Charlotte, North Carolina. On 10 March 2014, Chiquita Brands International Inc. and Fyffes plc announced that the Boards of Directors of both companies unanimously approved a definitive agreement under which Chiquita will combine with Fyffes, in a stock-for-stock transaction, expected to result in Chiquita shareholders owning 50.7% of ChiquitaFyffes and Fyffes shareholders owning 49.3% of the proposed ChiquitaFyffes, on a diluted basis.
The agreement would have created the largest banana producer in the world and would have been domiciled in Ireland. Though an intervening offer by Brazilian companies Cutrale and Safra Group of $611 million in August 2014 was rejected by Chiquita, with the company saying it would continue with its merger with Fyffes. On 24 October, Chiquita announced that the shareholders at a Company Special Meeting had rejected the merger with Fyffes. Instead the Cutrale-Safra acquisition offer was accepted by the shareholders. Chiquita Brands International's history began in 1870 when ship's captain Lorenzo Dow Baker purchased 160 bunches of bananas in Jamaica and resold them in Jersey City eleven days later. In 1873 Central American railroad developer Minor C. Keith began to experiment with banana production in Costa Rica, he planted bananas alongside a Costa Rican railroad track to provide revenue for the railroad. In 1878, Baker partnered with Andrew Preston to form the Boston Fruit Company. United Fruit Company was founded in 1899 when the Boston Fruit Company and various fruit exporting concerns controlled by Keith merged.
In 1903, United Fruit Company was listed on the New York Stock Exchange and became the first company to use refrigeration during open sea transport. In 1928, workers were protesting against the bad working conditions in the company plantations in Ciénaga; this episode is known in the history of Colombia as the Masacre de las Bananeras. Gabriel García Márquez describes in his novel One Hundred Years of Solitude thousands of dead workers, this was never confirmed and García Márquez himself stated that this number was exaggerated. By 1930, the company's fleet had grown to 95 ships; the brand name Chiquita was registered as a trademark in 1947. By 1955, United Fruit Company was processing 2.7 billion pounds of fruit a year. In 1966, the company expanded into Europe. Eli Black came in 1968 and was made chairman, CEO. In 1970, the company changed its name to United Brands Company. Black took a controlling interest by outbidding two other conglomerates, Zapata Corporation and Textron. After the suicide of Black in 1975, the company was acquired by Paul Milstein.
In 1980, Chiquita was an official sponsor of the Winter Olympics in New York. In 1984, Cincinnati investor Carl Lindner, Jr. became the controlling investor in United Brands. In 1990, the company renamed itself Chiquita Brands International, as it undertook major investments in Costa Rica. In 1993, the company was hit by European tariffs on the import of Latin American bananas. In 1994, select Chiquita farms were certified the Rainforest Alliance's Better Banana Project as being environmentally friendly. In 1995, the company sold the John Morrell meat business, part of the original AMK Corporation. In 1998, the world's largest banana processing facility debuted in Costa Rica. In 1976, the European Commission held that United Brands had been abusing a dominant market position, contrary to Article 86 of the EEC Treaty. In 1978, the Commission's decision was upheld by the European Court of Justice. On 3 May 1998, The Cincinnati Enquirer published an eighteen-page section, "Chiquita Secrets Revealed" by investigative reporters Michael Gallagher and Cameron McWhirter.
The section accused the company of mistreating workers on its Central American plantations, polluting the environment, allowing cocaine to be brought to Borneo on its ships, bribing foreign officials, evading foreign nations' laws on land ownership, forcibly preventing its workers from unionizing, a host of other misdeeds. Chiquita denied all the allegations, sued after it was revealed that Gallagher had hacked into Chiquita's voice-mail system. A special prosecutor was appointed to investigate, because the elected prosecutor at the time had ties to Carl Lindner, Jr. On 28 June 1998, the Enquirer retracted the entire series of stories and published a front-page apology saying it had "become convinced that accusations and conclusions are untrue and created a false and misleading impression of Chiquita's business practices"; the Enquirer agreed to pay a multi-million-dollar settlement. The exact amount was not