Directors of cranberry growers co-operative Ocean Spray have rejected a bid from rival Northland to purchase its juice business and brand name for around $800 million.
In a statement issued on Friday they said the company had no interest in selling its branded assets.
"Northland's overture appears calculated to take advantage of the current circumstances, putting Ocean Spray growers at a disadvantage and influencing the outcome of Director elections. We believe Northland's press release is calculated to cause disruption among our grower-owners as the Co-operative prepares for its March 8th Annual Meeting," the directors said.
They added that expressions of interest are usually kept confidential in an effort to respect the governance processes of the parties involved. "Only hostile offers are made public."
The group was unhappy with Northland's proposal to pay half of the up-front payment in stock. "Northland has not had a record of good management or value," the directors said.
Also the supply agreement terms offered cover less than half of the Ocean Spray members' annual production, according to the company. And it claimed that Northland's proposed supply agreement was filled with escape clauses.
Ocean Spray will continue to explore alternatives to maximise the group's value.