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Ferrero declares itself out of the running for Cadbury

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by Kay Mitchell

Italian firm Ferrero, which makes Nutella chocolate spread and Ferrero Rocher chocolates, has confirmed that it will not make an offer for British confectionery giant, Cadbury.

Ferrero’s formal confirmation came last Friday – the deadline for companies to make firm offers.

In a statement, Ferrero said: “Further to its announcement of November 18, 2009, Ferrero International SA confirms that it does not intend to make an offer for Cadbury.”

Ferrero had been considering a joint bid with US-based Hershey Co. Hershey is the largest chocolate maker in the US and is controlled by the charitable Hershey Trust.

The withdrawal of Ferrero will pave the way for Kraft’s £11.7 billion takeover. Kraft has until 2 February to persuade Cadbury shareholders to accept its offer.

After months of hostile talks, Cadbury last week agreed to the takeover – which was strongly opposed by Business Secretary, Lord Peter Mandelson.

Hours after news of the takeover emerged, Roger Carr, chairman of Cadbury, said job losses were an “inevitability” at the company.

However, the 186-year-old British company, renowned for Dairy Milk chocolate, is set to advise shareholders to accept the latest bid of 840p a share.

Kraft, which is renowned for brands such as Kenco coffee and Oreo biscuits, will pay 840p for each Cadbury share and agree to pay a 10p-per-share dividend.

A combination of the two firms is set create a “global powerhouse” in food and confectionery, with annual sales of around US$50 billion, according to Kraft.

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News posted: January 25, 2010

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