Dole Food Co. was replaced as the world’s largest banana supplier when Chiquita Brands International Inc. announced Monday it will join with Fyffes Plc by the end of the year.

Prior to the announcement, Dole in Westlake Village held 26 percent of market share in the banana trade, according to a 2011 report from U.K.-based research firm Banana Link. Chiquita of Charlotte, N.C. and Fyffes of Dublin would account for a 27 percent market share, with the brands holding 22 percent and 5 percent respectively.

The merger puts the companies at about $4.6 billion in combined annual revenue.

The stock-for-stock transaction is expected to leave Chiquita shareholders owning approximately 50.7 percent of ChiquitaFyffes and Fyffes shareholders with about 49.3 percent of the merged company on a diluted basis.

“This is a milestone transaction for Chiquita and Fyffes that brings together the best of both companies which, we believe, will create significant value for our shareholders and offer immediate benefits for customers and consumers worldwide,” said Ed Lonergan, chief executive with Chiquita, in a press release.

Dole did not immediately respond for comment.