Cadbury Board Urges Shareholders to Reject Kraft Offer

Cadbury’s board of directors is recommending its shareholders reject Kraft Foods’ $16.3 billion hostile takeover bid, saying it’s too low to come close to reflecting Cadbury’s true value.

LONDON — Cadbury’s board of directors is recommending its shareholders reject Kraft Foods’ $16.3 billion hostile takeover bid, saying it’s too low to come close to reflecting Cadbury’s true value.

The company’s board rejected Kraft’s Sept. 7 offer, whose cash price per share and exchange ratio remain unchanged. Cadbury contends that due to a drop in Kraft’s share price since then, the offer’s implied value for each Cadbury share is about 4% lower.

“The repetition of a proposal which is now of less value and lower than the current Cadbury share price does not make it any more attractive,” said Roger Carr, chairman of Cadbury, in a statement.

Meanwhile, Kraft, which hopes to grow its portfolio to include 40 confectionary brands—each in excess of $100 million in annual sales, according to the company — says its offer represents a substantial premium to the unaffected share price of Cadbury.

“We believe that our proposal offers the best immediate and long-term value for Cadbury’s shareholders and for the company itself compared with any other option currently available, including Cadbury remaining independent,” said Irene Rosenfeld, chairman and chief executive officer of Kraft, in a statement.

Globally the combined company would be No. 1 in the chocolate and sugar confectionery segments and No. 2 in the gum segment, according to Kraft.

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