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Tuesday 19th of January 2010
January 18, 2010    

Cadbury shares up as Kraft deadline looms

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by Kay Murchie
Cadbury shares up as Kraft deadline looms

British confectioner Cadbury, renowned for Dairy Milk chocolate, is awaiting the next move from US food giant, Kraft.

Kraft, which is renowned for brands such as Kenco coffee and Oreo biscuits, approached Cadbury in September with an informal £10.2 billion takeover offer, which Cadbury rejected.

In November, Kraft made a second bid of £9.8 billion, which was again swiftly rejected.

Earlier this month, Kraft increased its offer for the 186-year-old company after selling its North American pizza business to Nestlé for $3.7 billion.

However, in order to gain shareholder support, Cadbury chief executive, Todd Stitzer, said Kraft will have to pay above £10 a share.

Shares in Cadbury moved above 800 pence in Monday trading. Kraft‘s first offer valued the company at around 770p - an offer which Cadbury described as “derisory.”

Kraft is set to outline details of its new offer tomorrow but if this offer is rejected, it will have to wait another year before it can bid again.

Cadbury chairman, Roger Carr, recently urged shareholders not to let Kraft “steal your company with its derisory offer“.

Mr Carr criticised Kraft’s management and its track record of “overpromising and underdelivering” and said: “We do not need to be subsumed into a lumbering, corporate monolith to achieve our aims.”

He added that Kraft is likely to cut jobs in the UK.

Meanwhile, it has been reported that US chocolate maker Hershey Co is considering a bid for Cadbury.

Hershey is the largest chocolate maker in the US and is controlled by the charitable Hershey Trust. It makes the well-known Hershey bar and Hershey’s Kisses.

Cadbury recently confirmed that it has been in talks with Hershey over a possible deal but analysts doubt that this will come to fruition.

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Related financial stories to: Cadbury shares up as Kraft deadline looms:
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  •  Kraft defends bid for Cadbury
  •  Cadbury describes Kraft bid as ‘unappealing’
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Tags: await, Cadbury, , Hershey, Kraft, offer, reject