Japan’s Sumitomo Corp. agreed to buy banana importer Fyffes Plc for 751 million euros ($798 million) in cash, expanding its reach in the global fruit market and sending the Irish company’s shares soaring.

A number of food companies have shifted their efforts to expand into emerging and global markets. Recent middle-market deals include: Kellogg Co.'s (NYSE: K) purchasing of Brazilian food company Parati Group, a maker of biscuits, pasta and powdered beverages, for $430 million; and McCormick & Co.'s (NYSE: MKC) buying Enrico Giotti S.p.A., an Italian manufacturer of flavors and extracts, for nearly $127 million in cash. Globalization has made cross-border M&A and emerging markets, like Latin America, attractive for acquisitions.

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