Kraft expected to post Cadbury bid today
Kraft Foods will post its offer document to Cadbury Plc shareholders today, triggering a two-month £9.8 billion takeover fight.
The American food giant has until December 7 to publish its offer document, but the sources said it was expected on Friday, and would be at the same cash and shares terms Kraft first unveiled to the Bournville giant in early September.
Cadbury, which employs thousands of workers in the West Midlands, has turned down all offers from Kraft so far and believes its business will be stronger if it remains independent.
“Kraft is ready to go so sees no reason to wait until Monday, and is expected to publish late morning on Friday,” a source said.
Cadbury rejected Kraft’s bid, forcing the US group to turn hostile in early November and prepare to go directly to Cadbury shareholders in its aim to create the world’s largest confectionery group.
The current terms of 300p in cash and 0.2589 new Kraft shares for each Cadbury share value the historic Birmingham group at 715p, compared Cadbury’s closing share price in London of 800p.
“They see no reason to change the terms as Kraft will have 46 days to consider a higher bid,” another source told news agency Reuters.
One Kraft’s document is posted there will be a 60-day timetable under UK takeover rules.
It will have until day 46, the middle of January, to raise its bid for the Dairy Milk chocolate maker. Cadbury will have until day 14 to publish its defence document.
Cadbury shares have been boosted by hopes of a higher Kraft offer and potential bids from rivals such as Italy’s Ferrero and Hershey Co, of the US, and possible interest from Nestle in a joint bid with Hershey, analysts said.
“The deadline is Monday. I can assure you we’ll meet that deadline,” said a Kraft spokeswoman.