Ferrero rules out bidding for Cadbury
Italian confectioner Ferrero ruled itself out of the Cadbury takeover race today after last week’s recommended £11.9 billion bid from US food giant Kraft.
Ferrero - famed for its Rocher chocolates and advertisements - had been weighing up its options over the Bournville giant since November amid rumours of a joint approach with US rival Hershey.
But Hershey formally withdrew from the race on Friday, clearing the way for Kraft’s takeover.
“Further to its announcement of November 18, 2009, Ferrero International SA confirms that it does not intend to make an offer for Cadbury,” the Italian group said in a statement.
Last week Kraft agreed a cash and shares deal that at the time valued Cadbury shares at 840p, with Cadbury shareholders also promised a 10p a share dividend.
Potential bidders Hershey and Ferrero, which had both said on November 18 they were considering bids for Cadbury, were given until 7am on January 25 either to come up with a fully financed bid or withdraw.
Shareholders in Cadbury have until 1pm on February 2 to accept the Kraft offer, and with the deal already recommended by the Cadbury board and no obvious rival bidders seen entering the battle, analysts expect the Kraft takeover to go through.
In a separate announcement, Kraft said Cadbury shareholders who elect to receive extra cash under a mix and match facility will receive 799p rather than the current 827p under the cash and shares offer, and 3,195p per Cadbury ADS compared to 3,308p.